West Nile Virus Confirmed In Alpaca In St. Lawrence County

West Nile Virus Confirmed In Alpaca In St. Lawrence County

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There has been another case of West Nile virus confirmed in St. Lawrence County. This time it was identified in an alpaca in the town of Stockholm.

Late last month, Canton-Potsdam Hospital announced it had treated a person for the virus. However, officials were unsure where the person had been infected.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. No mosquitoes have tested positive in the county.

Most people infected with West Nile show no symptoms or only mild symptoms such as slight fever, headaches or body aches.

People with weak immune systems, however, can experience serious illness, including encephalitis (swelling of the brain), permanent neurological damage and death.

About 80 percent of people bitten by a mosquito infected with the West Nile virus do not get sick.

Meanwhile, the county Public Health Department is urging all residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce areas for breeding of mosquitoes on their property.

Officials recommend that people should continue to protect themselves when outdoors by using an effective mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long sleeves.

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