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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jay Lynch, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager

Date: September 16, 2011


Delaware's Division of Public Health today identified the state's first reported human case of West Nile virus for 2011 in a 71 year-old man from New Castle County. The case was identified by tests conducted at the Delaware Public Health Laboratory in Smyrna. The individual has underlying health conditions and is hospitalized.

West Nile virus is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Humans infected with West Nile virus typically have symptoms similar to a mild flu, if they show any signs at all. Rarely do humans infected with the disease experience more severe symptoms of sudden onset of severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion and muscle weakness. Individuals with these symptoms should see their physician immediately. Delaware's first confirmed human case of West Nile virus occurred in 2002. During 2003, 17 human cases, were reported. There were no reported human cases in 2004 but two were reported in 2005.

Follow these procedures for mosquito prevention:

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Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.