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Valley Has High Chances of West Nile - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Valley Has High Chances of West Nile

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North Dakota has its first human case of West Nile virus this year, and that has local health officials urging you to protect yourself. 

The patient is a woman in her 30's from Grant County in Southwest North Dakota. But the danger isn't only in the western part of the state, mosquitoes in Cass County and birds in grand forks county have been tested positive for the disease.  

Vector Control is worried after learning about the case, they say they are doing everything they can to try and keep the mosquito population down. 

Last year there were 8 cases in Cass County alone, so it's smart to protect yourself.

Although the mosquito population has been better this summer for people outside, that annoying sound could be a warning of a mosquito that's possibly carrying the West Nile virus.

"80% of people that are exposed are not even going to realize they've gotten sick," says Nurse Practitioner Andy Hamilton, "and up to 10-20% might get some body aches a mild rash, less than 1% will get a fever and get really get ill from it."

So what's the buzz about if less than one percent get severely ill? It's the chances we have in of getting the virus, here in the Valley.

"High incidents of infection in the CDC terms is grater than 2 people per 100,000  in a population." Ben Prather with Vector Control says, "We see rates in North Dakota that are multiples of that. 10 and 20's per 100,000 that fall to infections."

The higher rates means more could be seeing doctors and long lasting effects, but instead of panic just remember to spray up before you go out.

"There's always something out there that can get you sick you know wether it's Lyme disease or something like that, you know if you want to enjoy the outside you have to just keep that in mind but you know still go out there and have fun." says Jacob Erbele who was out enjoying the park with his family.

There are some ways you can try to protect yourself from getting mosquito bites by wearing a long sleeve shirt to have less skin exposed. And always have Deet spray along not only for the uncovered areas, but even around on your clothes too.  

Health experts say if you do find an irregular bite, or feel any symptoms after being bitten, to find a doctor's help to fight the infection right away.
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