Half of Kansas at high risk for West Nile virus

Wichita metro in that high-risk area

July 21, 2018 - 2:01 am

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a high-risk warning for West Nile virus infections for half of the state.

The KDHE said north-central, south-central, and southwest Kansas at at high risk. Other areas of the state are at a moderate risk.  

West Nile virus is spread to people through mosquito bites, but isn't contagious. Those contracting the virus will develop a fever and other symptoms. About one out of 150 infected people will develop swelling of the brain or brain tissue, that can possibly result in death.

There is no vaccine or medications to treat West Nile but if you've had it once before, you're considered immune.

There are several easy steps you can follow to lessen the chances of getting West Nile. Among these are wearing insect repellent, having good screens on your windows to keep the mosquitos out and rid empty buckets or flowerpots of standing water to get rid of mosquito breeding sites.

For questions about West Nile virus, please contact the KDHE Epidemiology hotline at 877-427-7317.

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