Canton-Potsdam Hospital reports human West Nile virus case

Photo: dr_relling, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Canton-Potsdam Hospital reports that it recently treated and released a patient who tested positive for West Nile virus.

Clinton County’s health department recently confirmed that West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes in that county.

CPH officials say their first human case of West Nile does not mean the virus is present in St. Lawrence County. But it does mean the public should understand the symptoms of West Nile virus and be vigilant in protecting against the disease.

Dr. Daniel Soule, is an infectious disease specialist at CPH. In a press release, he said, “Most people who contract West Nile virus show no symptoms at all, or show mild symptoms, and will recover without a visit to the doctor.” He said symptoms of West Nile can mimic those of flu or what people call “stomach flu.”

Use DEET-based repellants to protect against mosquitoes. Photo: <a href="">KVDP</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Use DEET-based repellants to protect against mosquitoes. Photo: KVDP, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

But he said if symptoms include mental confusion, severe headache, neck stiffness and pain, patients should call 911 and go to the nearest emergency room.

The virus can lead to encephalitis or meningitis, life-threatening swelling of the brain.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control the disease progresses this far in about one percent of all patients nationwide. Babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are at increased risk for complications.

Prevention is common sense: avoid mosquito bites. People should wear insect repellant containing DEET, get rid of standing water and keep mosquitoes outside.

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