WI officials report first 2013 West Nile case

Wisconsin health officials have confirmed the state’s first case of West Nile virus in a human this year.

They say the virus was diagnosed in a Dane County resident. Last year, 57 cases of West Nile virus infection were reported among Wisconsin residents. That’s the highest annual number of reported cases since surveillance of the disease began in Wisconsin.

Health officials say 10 dead birds from around the state have tested positive for the virus this season, too.

They say most people infected with the virus won’t have any symptoms. People who do become sick may suffer from a fever, headache, rash, muscle and joint aches, nausea, vomiting and fatigue that can last several days.

Symptoms may begin three to 15 days after a bit from an infected mosquito.

La Crosse County health officials remember last year as one of the deadliest on record for the disease, and say everyone should take precautions.

“If you can, wear long pants and long shirts, and if you can make them lighter colored clothing, the mosquitos aren’t as attracted to that, just really paying attention, trying to avoid the peak times and wearing repellent,” says Tessa Whitemarsh, a vector control manager with La Crosse County.

Peek time for mosquitos to be out is at dusk and dawn. The majority of West Nile cases are seen from mid July until the end of August.