First human case of West Nile virus this year reported in Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH — The first human case of West Nile virus in Allegheny County this year has been identified in a woman in her 80s.

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) said the woman, who lived in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood, was hospitalized after experiencing fever and weakness. She died in late September.

While it’s the first case in Allegheny County, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported 10 cases to the CDC.

ACHD has set up additional mosquito traps in the Elliott and West End area, as part of its West Nile surveillance efforts.

According to the CDC, most people infected with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms. Those who do will develop a fever and have symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people who do develop symptoms can recover on their own. Less than 1% of people infected with develop severe symptoms of neurologic illness.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been infected with West Nile virus should seek help from their health care provider.

ACHD recommends protecting from mosquitos by removing standing water in yards, making sure that open windows and doors have screens and using insect repellent on exposed skin.

For more information on the West Nile virus, including frequently asked questions about prevention, symptoms and transmission, visit the CDC’s webpage on the disease.

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