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Human case of West Nile reported in Knox County | Health

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Human case of West Nile reported in Knox County
Health

The Knox County Health Department on Friday confirmed that a human case of West Nile Virus had been reported in Knox County.

They're not releasing any details about the case, but Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan said she expected to see a case of West Nile here and is not surprised that it has happened with cases popping up around the country.

This is the first confirmed case of West Nile in the county in 2012, and the first one reported since September 2009.

Officials have been working all summer to decrease the mosquito population.

The Knox County Health Department has found the virus in their several of their testing pools in the county.

Every time they receive a positive test in the water, they spray the area around it. They also use mosquito traps and larvacide.

Dr. Buchanan said there is no way for people to tell which mosquitoes are carrying the virus. She hopes this West Nile case will help educate people.

"What I really hope this does raise people's awareness of the need to protect themselves. Protect themselves against getting bitten by mosquito and then getting West Nile Virus," said Dr. Buchanan.

The Health Department says now more than ever you need to avoid the outdoors between dusk and dawn, wear protective clothing if you can, and use a bug spray that contains DEET.

By keeping your grass cut and emptying any standing water, you can also help prevent the mosquitoes from breeding.

People over 50 are the most high-risk age group to contract the virus.

Symptoms will appear a few days after exposure, but the bites will look like any other mosquito bite.

The virus usually shows up in the form of fever, body aches, head ache and nausea.

In Tennessee, 14 human cases have been reported so far this year, according to data from the state's Department of Health.

The cases were reported in seven other counties statewide, including Greene County and Hawkins County in East Tennessee.

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