Moderate West Nile Virus risk areawide, statewide Featured

Moderate West Nile Virus risk areawide, statewide Centers for Disease Control and Prevention photo

Record rainfall and resulting floodwaters have developed a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes across Kansas. As a result, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a statewide moderate risk for West Nile Virus.

KDHE says mosquito populations will increase the next several weeks due to floods, and the typical late-spring temperature increase means mosquitoes will mature quickly from eggs to biting adults.

The northeast part of Kansas, including Lyon, Chase, Morris, Osage and Wabaunsee counties, is in a moderate risk because of a "significant increase" in floodwater mosquito species, although the number of mosquitoes typically considered as West Nile carriers is actually down from the prior week. The southeast region, including Coffey and Greenwood counties, had a high number of the carrier mosquitos. So far, no cases of West Nile have been reported in Kansas, although several have been reported in Oklahoma.

Most infected people -- perhaps up to 80 percent -- don't develop any symptoms. For people that display symptoms, a fever, headache. body aches, joint pains, diarrhea or rash are common. About one in 150 people get severe symptoms like high fever, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, numbness, paralysis or coma.

Click here for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's general information website page about West Nile Virus.

Click here for KDHE's online page for West Nile Virus reports by county.

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