In 2003, there were 393 recorded cases of West Nile Virus in Wyoming. In 2004, there were 10 cases. Last year, there were only 12 recorded cases, but two years prior there were 185 cases.
The West Nile ticker is now running again, as the first case of the year was reported in Goshen County this week.
Kim Deti with the Wyoming Department of Health says now is the time for people to take extra precautions to avoid getting the disease.
While many of the fluctuations seem to be in the hands of the gods, there are things you can do as an individual to protect yourself. Because mosquito “happy hour” is around dawn or dusk, Kim suggests avoiding spending time outside during those hours. If you do venture out during those times, protect yourself with repellent and/or long clothing. Also, because mosquitoes breed in shallow water, she recommends draining or removing stagnant pools when possible.
Many people infected with West Nile Virus never know it and remain symptom-free. Fever, headache, body aches, rashes and swollen lymph nodes are the typical symptoms of those who do get sick. A small percentage of people develop West Nile neuro-invasive disease, which can result in coma or death.