Tuesday, August 5, 2003

West Nile found in Boone Co. mosquitoes

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Northern Kentucky health officials confirm that mosquitoes in Boone County are carrying the West Nile virus.

Last week, mosquitoes trapped in a pool in Boone County tested positive for the West Nile virus, the illness that struck 75 Kentucky residents last summer.

The virus surfaced about three weeks earlier than last year, said Peggy Patterson, spokeswoman for the Northern Kentucky Independent Health District. In 2002, Northern Kentucky reported its first human case of West Nile virus in September.

Last year, half of Kentucky's human cases were reported in August, said Gil Lawson, a spokesman for the Cabinet for Health Services in Frankfort.

"Based on last year's experience, (August) is the big month for West Nile cases," Lawson said.

West Nile virus is a disease that can be transmitted from mosquitoes to people. Symptoms range from flu-like illness to life-threatening meningitis and encephalitis.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the Tristate this year. However, Hamilton County health officials confirmed Monday that mosquitoes trapped in Anderson Township have tested positive for the virus. Eight Ohio counties, eight Kentucky counties and six counties in Indiana, including Dearborn County, have reported West Nile virus activity this year.

For information, call the Northern Kentucky health department at (859) 341-4151, or check the Cabinet for Health Services' Web site (www.westnile.ky.gov) .


E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com

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