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Mosquitoes with St. Louis encephalitis virus found in Dawson County

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Protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves and long pants in the morning and evening.

Cases of the West Nile virus are increasing in some parts of the country.Officials in Los Angeles County have confirmed the first human cases there, while cases have also popped up in Maryland and Massachusetts.In Arizona, there were a dozen cases of West Nile before heavy rains this summer. Now the state is reporting twice that, as rains coast-to-coast threaten to make outbreaks worse."If we keep experiencing more storms, more water, more accumulation of water and that water remains stagnant for around three to five days, that would be conducive to mosquito breeding, especially as we get warm temperatures," said Johnny Dilone, Maricopa County Arizona Environmental Services community relations manager.While the chances of a person actually getting the virus are low, it's not a chance one should take.Barbara Puls is still watching her brother-in-law recover from a case last year."Their prognosis for walking again is not very good because like his feet have sort of atrophied," Puls said of her brother-in-law.Mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds. Then they pass the virus on to people through bites.Across the U.S., preventing breeding in part relies on keeping the bugs away, and spraying for them is booming.SEE MORE: Surging Demand For Bug Spraying Is Hurting Other Animals

KEARNEY — Mosquitoes testing positive for St. Louis encephalitis virus have been found in Dawson County, the Two Rivers Public Health Department said Tuesday.

St. Louis encephalitis virus is spread to people after they are bitten by a mosquito which has the virus.

Most people who are infected do not have symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may experience fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness.

Some people may develop neuroinvasive disease, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

Although not all types of mosquitoes transmit St. Louis encephalitis virus, the only proven method of prevention is to protect yourself from being bitten by any mosquito. Be especially cautious in the mornings and evenings because this is when mosquitoes are more active.

Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Be sure to wear insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535, oil of eucalyptus or picaridin.

For more information, call Two Rivers at 888-669-7154.

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