A Payette County woman in her 40s was hospitalized and is now recovering from a neuroinvasive West Nile virus infection. The woman is the second reported human case in as many days, prompting health officials to warn people to take precautions and avoid mosquito bites. (Read about the first case here.)
A neuroinvasive infection can cause severe illness characterized by encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain or spinal cord). Symptoms of neuroinvasive infections caused by West Nile virus may include a rapid onset of high fever, headache, body aches, neck stiffness, disorientation and tremors. Most people suffering from neuroinvasive infections require hospitalization.
The spread of West Nile virus and additional human infections are difficult to predict. So far this summer, nine Idaho counties have reported West Nile virus activity. There is concern that high mosquito populations in some areas of the state could lead to additional West Nile virus infections. In 2006, when Idaho led the nation with almost 1,000 human cases, most infections were reported during the month of August.
For information on how to protect yourself, please visit www.westnile.idaho.gov .