West Nile virus returns to county

Sep 10, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

A human case of West Nile virus has been reported in Fremont County.

The announcement comes just days after Fremont County Weed and Pest said it would stop trapping mosquitoes for the season.

Mosquitoes of the culex tarsalis variety transmit West Nile virus.

Still a risk

In making the decision to end the trapping program for the year, Weed and Pest assistant supervisor Nancy Pieropan had warned that the West Nile still could be transmitted.

"I'm not going to say people won't be bit," Pieropan said Thursday. "There are still mosquitoes around, (and) it's still possible for mosquitoes to be hatching."

She added that someone bit by a carrier in August may only start to feel symptoms of West Nile this month.

"If there was a human case now I wouldn't be that surprised," Pieropan said Thursday.

On Friday, she called The Ranger with the news of the human case of West Nile.

Since WNV first appeared in Wyoming in 2002, the Wyoming Department of Health says reported human cases each year have ranged from two with no deaths in one year, to 393 and nine deaths in another.

In 2016, 10 WNV cases were reported to WDH; of the reported cases, seven involved people with neuroinvasive disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most infected people will not get sick, but about 20 percent have a fever and experience flu-like symptoms.

Fewer than 1 percent of people with West Nile virus develop serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.

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