Montana saw the first cases of the West Nile Man virus in the states of Custer and Lewis and Clark counties, public health officials said.
Two people over 60 were hospitalized, according to a Montana press release, the Department of Public Health and Human Services sent on Thursday
the message states that no other information on their conditions is available at the moment, but notes that people in this age range are at greater risk of serious illness.
According to a map on the DPHHS website, Yellowstone, Cascade, Blaine, Valley and Sheridan counties have been identified as positive mosquito pools tested for West Nile virus. A case involving a horse infected with West Nile virus was reported in Lake County.
"This is usually when we see our first cases of people in Montana after the hotter dry weather of late July and early August," says the DPHHS epidemiologist. Erica Baldy. "Our season may start as early as July, and since it may take some time to get sick, we can receive reports of sick individuals as early as October."
According to Stacey Anderson, another epidemiologist for DPHHS, Lewis and Clark and Counties Custer are tested for a mosquito pool. However, results are reported weekly and no confirmed groups in these counties have yet been found.
"We wanted to make sure we got those results for everyone before the holiday weekend," Anderson says.
In 2018, 51 cases of human West Nile virus occurred. and one related death, along with 50 cases of a horse.
Most people infected with West Nile have no symptoms, but one in five will develop mild symptoms such as headaches and rashes. Less than one in 150 can be seriously ill with encephalitis, meningitis or inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues
People who develop these symptoms should see their healthcare provider, the release said.
In Montana, mosquito species Culex tarsalis is effective in transmitting the virus to humans and horses.
DPHHS recommends the use of insect repellent with DEET or picaridin, drainage of stagnant water around the home to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. to protect against bites.