GODFREY, Ill. (KMOX) – The first mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus in Illinois have been found in Godfrey. Couple that with news of a Kansas City child mysteriously dying from symptoms resembling West Nile, and there is heightened awareness of the virus throughout the area.
The Chief Medical Officer of SSM Health, Dr. Alexander Garza, says in 80 percent of the cases, West Nile does not cause any problems in those it infects.
“It’s usually the very old, or people that are susceptible to infections where it causes a problem,” he says.
Garza explains in most instances, the symptoms are rather innocuous.
“Fever, muscle aches, sometimes you can develop a rash, just generally feeling really bad, but those all sort of go along with other symptoms for other types of viral illnesses. You can have some joint pain, some vomiting, but it’s mostly fever, fatigue, and just generally not feeling well,” he says.
The best prevention, Garza says, is common mosquito fighting tips: Stay indoors around dusk and dawn, wear long sleeves when outdoors, use repellent with deet, and remove any standing water from around your house.