-- — West Nile virus is not the only mosquito-borne disease lurking here.
A positive mosquito sampling for the "treehole mosquito" (Aedes triseriatus) has been identified and one human case of La Crosse encephalitis has been confirmed in Ripley County, according to a Ripley County Health Department news release.
La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected treehole mosquito.
LACV is not transmitted directly from person to person.
Most cases occur in the upper Midwest and mid-Atlantic and southeastern states.
Many people infected with it have no apparent symptoms. Among people who become ill, initial symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness.
Some victims develop severe neuroinvasive disease, which affects the nervous system. Severe LACV disease often involves encephalitis (a brain inflammation) and can include seizures, coma and paralysis. Severe disease occurs most often in children under 16. In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result from La Crosse encephalitis.
There is no specific treatment for LACV infection. Care is based on symptoms.
The report notes, “If you or a family member has symptoms of severe LACV disease or any symptoms causing you concern, consult a health care provider for proper diagnosis.”
The best way to reduce the risk of LACV infection or other mosquito-borne viruses is to prevent mosquito bites. Persons should use insect repellent; wear long sleeves, long pants and socks; or even stay indoors while mosquitoes are active.
The mosquitoes that spread LACV are most active during the daytime.
More information is available at these Web sites: www.cdc.gov/lac/gen/qa.html; www.ripleycounty.com/healthdepartment/.