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Idaho sees first human case of West Nile Virus, Payette County man hospitalized

Right on the heels of news this morning that two horses, one near Parma and one near Meridian, have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the state now has its first human case of West Nile for the season: A Payette County man in his 40s has been hospitalized with a confirmed diagnosis of West Nile encephalitis. “About one in 150 people infected with WNV develop severe illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), as in this first positive case, or meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord),” said Jennifer Tripp, program manager for Southwest District Health.

West Nile Virus is spread by mosquitoes, and Idahoans are being urged to take precautions, particularly between dusk and dawn, including wearing long sleeves and long pants and using insect repellent. You can read the Southwest District Health full announcement here about the human case, and the state Department of Agriculture’s full announcement here about the infected horses.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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