COLUMBIA — The Columbia/Boone County Health Department said Friday another case of West Nile has been confirmed in Boone County. It’s the fifth virus infection confirmed in the county this year.
A spokeswoman from the Health Department said a woman in her early 40s has been diagnosed with symptoms of the virus and is in good condition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site, the West Nile virus is transmitted to humans primarily through mosquitoes, though an infection rarely leads to symptoms. When they do occur, symptoms can include swollen lymph nodes, headaches, rashes and, in severe cases, swelling of the brain. The rare fatal cases primarily involve individuals with compromised immune systems.
So far, one more case of the virus has been reported than in 2006, when four were reported in Boone County.
Diedre Wood, a spokeswoman for the Health Department, said the increase could be attributed to greater awareness of the disease along with wet, warm weather that supports large mosquito populations.
The first Boone County West Nile virus case this year was reported on Aug. 19. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services confirmed Missouri’s first West Nile virus-related death of 2007 on Wednesday. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the 51-year-old St. Louis woman had survived a double lung transplant about 15 years ago, which weakened her immune system.
For more information about the virus, go to the city of Columbia’s Web site at gocolumbiamo.com/Health/Environmental_Health/West_Nile.