Arkansas Dept. of Health confirms 3 cases of West Nile Virus

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) – The Arkansas Department of Health has recorded the first 3 case of the West Nile Virus infection in the state for 2010.

According to a press release, the ADH said all of the cases had originated out of the southern part of Arkansas in the past week.

ADH won't release more information about the individuals or their location due to privacy concerns.

According to James Phillips, MD, Infectious Disease Branch Chief at ADH, it is not surprising to see illness from mosquitoes at this time of year. "We are concerned that people may have forgotten that West Nile Virus (WNV) is a problem in Arkansas, but the fact is, we have had the greatest number of cases in the months of August and September over the last few years," Phillips said. "We want people to remember to take their mosquito repellent with them when they go outside over the holiday," Phillips added.

In 2009 Arkansas recorded 6 cases of the West Nile Virus, and one person died because of the virus. In 2008 there were 9 confirmed cases, but no deaths reported.

The ADH says elderly and those with chronic illnesses are most vulnerable to the virus. To protect you from mosquitoes bites, ADH suggest the following:

  • You should also stay indoors when mosquitoes are more active-from dusk to dawn.
  • When it is necessary to be outdoors during this time, wear protective clothing with long sleeves and long pants legs and use mosquito repellent (containing up to 35 percent DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus).

Use the following precautions when using insect repellents:

  • Store out of the reach of children and read all instructions on the label before applying.
  • Do not allow young children to apply insect repellents themselves.

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