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First human West Nile Virus case reported in state this year

Wisconsin now has its first human case of West Nile Virus this year.

State health officials announced their confirmation of the disease Monday.

According to the Department of Health and Family Services, a woman in Portage County came down with a fever, aches, nausea, and a rash last June.

Blood tests done last week showed the presence of West Nile Virus, passed on by an infected mosquito.

The woman has since recovered without needing hospitalization.

Mark Sotir , a state epidemiologist, says for the most part cases of West Nile Virus in Wisconsin have declined sharply since 2002, when there were 53 cases reported.

Sotir warns though that while many people could assume mosquito activity is winding down with the summer, the peak period for catching West Nile is just beginning.

He says researchers have found since West Nile came to Wisconsin, is that three-quarters of the human cases have actually gotten sick in August and September. He says as long as the mosquitoes are out, in particular the cullex mosquitoes, then there is and will continue to be a risk for humans.

The cullex mosquitoes are primary carriers for the West Nile virus. Health officials urge people to wear repellant, don long garments for the arms and legs, keep windows screened up, and get rid of standing water near the home.