BILLINGS – The Montana Department of Health and Human Services reports the first West Nile Virus related death in the state since 2016.
An elderly Yellowstone County man died as a result of the virus, according to a release from RiverStone Health.
As of Wednesday, there were 19 confirmed human cases of the virus in the state. The cases appear in Carbon, Cascade, Lewis and Clark, McCone, Roosevelt, Toole, Valley and Yellowstone counties.
Only certain mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus and it is spread to people through bites. According to the release, four out of five people infected have no symptoms, and usually do not require treatment. Symptoms of the virus may include headache, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.
The press release cites the four D’s as the best way to prevent mosquito bites, and the various illnesses they can spread.
- DEET: Use insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin. A solution with 25 percent to 35 percent DEET is best but children ages 2-12 should use repellent with no more than 10 percent DEET.
- Drain: Empty standing water around your house to prevent mosquitoes breeding.
- Dawn/Dusk: Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk so stay inside during these times or take precautions to prevent bites.
- Dress: Protect yourself from bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside.