COLUMBIA — The third case of West Nile Virus in Boone County has been confirmed, a spokeswoman for the Columbia/Boone County Health Department said this afternoon.
An 81-year-old Columbia man, who has been hospitalized, is the latest area resident to contract the virus. It is the second case confirmed this week in Boone County, and the third case reported this year — all of them this month.
West Nile Virus is contracted from mosquito bites. Common symptoms include high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness and swollen lymph glands, said Deidre Wood, public information specialist for the health department.
According to a health department news release:
n 80 percent of people infected by the virus don’t experience any symptoms.
n Up to 20 percent of people infected by the virus will show only mild symptoms.
Wood said a good way to prevent West Nile is to eliminate any standing water, a common breeding ground for mosquitos. She suggests emptying tire swings of water after rain, changing the water in bird baths and inflatable pools frequently. She also suggests using DEET, a personal insect repellant, whenever possible.