The virus is passed through bites from infected mosquitoes. It said all the deaths involved people with other health complications.
The infection is transmitted by mosquitoes, with symptoms including fever, headaches, tiredness, an aching body, nausea and vomiting, as well as skin rashes and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms of the more serious West Nile encephalitis include inflammation of the brain, disorientation, convulsions and paralysis. While there is no specific treatment for West Nile virus, patients are treated with supportive therapy as needed. Older adults and people with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of severe disease from the virus. These individuals are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during mosquito season, which extends from June 1 through November 1.
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No cases were recorded in 2015 and 2016, but in 2017 the country reported five fatalities. Key prevention tips include using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.
According to the health department, most human cases occur in August and September. "West Nile virus activity will continue until the state's first hard frost, regardless of the date on the calendar".
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"There is no discernible trend", said Dr. Tomarken.
The agency reported investigating 73 cases of the West Nile virus so far in 2018. "There may be many more residents who acquired West Nile virus, but we never learned about them because they didn't seek medical attention or they sought attention but lab tests weren't ordered".
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