First reported case of West Nile Virus in Sedgwick County

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WICHITA, Kansas– It’s the first reported case of West Nile for this year.

Via Christi Hospital on Saint Francis confirmed to KSN News that doctors are treating a patient for the virus.

The patient’s conditions are unknown at this time.

Sedgwick County health leaders are asking the public to avoid the risk by taking precaution.

Michael Jensen enjoyed a nice picnic at Riverside Park Friday evening.

He’s not too concerned about mosquitoes at the park, but it’s a different story when he’s home.

“We have had tons of mosquitoes in our backyard,” said Michael Jensen of Wichita.

The Sedgwick County Health Department is encouraging residents to be more alert of their bites after a confirmed case of West Nile virus in the county.

“We want to be sure that they understand they are at risk if they are outside,” said Claudia Blackburn, health director for the Sedgwick County Health Department. “They need to do everything they can to protect themselves.”

The health department is advising residents to drain standing water in their garden or backyard, wear clothes that cover your arms and legs during dawn and dust hours, and use insect repellent when possible.

“We’re pinpointing areas where the mosquitoes trappings and surveillance indicates there is a specific immediate concern,” said Don Henry, assistant director of City of Wichita Public Works and Utilities.

The City of Wichita is working with Sedgwick County to build awareness and to track the growing mosquito population.

They’re treating two areas: Chisholm Park and near Ferrell between Minisa and N. Woodlawn Park.

“Just because that pool of mosquitoes with the virus is located in that one area– there’s no greater concern really in that area than anywhere else,” said Henry. “It just indicates that the virus is here in the city and county.”

Doctors say most people infected with the virus won’t show any symptoms.

20% will experience mild symptoms like a fever, nausea, or vomitting, and less than 1% will develop a severe illness requiring hospitalization.

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