By Democrat stafft
The Pettis County Health Center reported Friday that a Pettis County resident has died of West Nile Virus disease.
West Nile Virus disease is a viral illness that is spread primarily by the bite of a mosquito.
The victium has not been identified by county officals.
Eliminating mosquito bites is the most important way to prevent developing West Nile Virus disease.
Approximately 80 percent of people who become infected with the disease will not experience any symptoms of infection, and less than 1 percent will develop the more serious, neuroinvasive form of the disease, according to the Pettis County Health Center.
The center warned that serious illness can occur in people of any age. However, people over 60 are at the greatest risk for severe disease.
People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk for serious illness.
Anyone who develops a sudden onset of fever with severe headache or muscle pain, particularly if there is a history of chronic illness, should seek medical attention.
The Pettis County Health Center warned county residents that, although cooler weather is approaching, mosquitoes are still active. Use an insect repellent containing DEET or other approved insect repellent. Avoid being outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes to avoid insect bites. Empty containers where standing water may collect to reduce mosquito breeding areas.
For additional information, contact the Pettis County Health Center at 660-827-1130. The Department of Health and Senior Services recently released a Health Advisory regarding the increased number of West Nile Fever cases in Missouri at the link below.