West Nile hits 4 in local area

The Western Treasure Valley is home to the first four cases of West Nile virus in humans in two states this year were reported back-to-back last week. Two people from Washington County are the first in Idaho to fall ill and two people in Malheur County are also the first to get sick from the virus in Oregon.

The latest confirmed cases reported Aug. 16 were two Washington County residents the first human cases of West Nile in Idaho this year, according to a release from the Southwest Health District.

One resident, over age 30, has contracted with West Nile neuroinvasive disease and the second person, over age 60, has been diagnosed as having West Nile fever, the release from the Health District states, making them the first human cases of the virus infection in Idaho this year.

In addition, infections of two people were reported Thursday in Malheur County, both elderly, but age ranges were not given. One is from Adrian and one is from Ontario.

West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in traps in several counties in the Western Treasure Valley this summer and was also discovered in traps on the Payette-Canyon county line in mid-July.

“About one in 150 people infected with WNV develop severe illness such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or meningitis (inflammation of the linings of the brain and spinal cord)” said Jami Delmore, Environmental Health Supervisor for Southwest District Health, in a statement. “These more severe infections are marked by a rapid onset of a high fever, headache, neck stiffness, body aches, disorientation and tremors.”

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