Second West Nile Virus Case Identified in Vermont

For Immediate Release: Oct. 5, 2012

Media Contact:
Communication Office, Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
802-828-2421

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health has confirmed a second person was infected with mosquito-borne West Nile virus this summer and is now recovering.

This latest confirmed case is a person from Essex County who was bitten by an infected mosquito in late August. The other human case this year was confirmed in September. Two Vermonters were reported as having been infected with West Nile virus in 2011, the first to have been identified in Vermont since 2003.

Lab results also showed that two alpacas from Highgate and Morrisville were infected. Neither of these animals had been vaccinated for West Nile virus, and both have since died.

“People should continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites until we have had two or three good, hard frosts,” said State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso. Owners of horses, llamas and alpacas should work closely with their veterinarians to determine appropriate vaccination protocols for these susceptible livestock species.

Symptoms of West Nile virus are often mild, but up to 20 percent of people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness, which can be fatal.

The Health Department is reminding Vermonters to avoid mosquito bites by taking the following precautions:

For more information about West Nile virus, visit healthvermont.gov.

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