The Columbia/Boone County Health Department on Friday confirmed the county’s first human case of West Nile Virus this year.
A 50-year-old man from eastern Boone County was infected with the virus in Boone County, said Deidre Wood, public information specialist for the Health Department. His health has improved and he has been sent home, she said.
The Columbia/Boone County Health Department will try to control the spread of West Nile Virus by spraying the neighborhood where the man was infected and the one-half mile surrounding it on Monday.
West Nile Virus is most often spread by mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site. Symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, nausea and swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.
“Eighty percent of people that have West Nile Virus don’t even experience any symptoms,” Wood said. “You may have it, not know it, and be OK.”
A rash on the neck or back coupled with the other symptoms often mark a severe case of West Nile Virus. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should see their doctors right away, Wood said.
Missouri has reported four human cases of West Nile Virus infection this year to the CDC. Last year, Missouri reported 62 cases of human West Nile Virus. Five of those infected died.