The woman who contracted the West Nile virus in southeast Boise is now recovering at home, according to the Central District Health Department.
She is older than 65, but the department didn’t release her name or exact age. The virus was contracted near Marianne Williams Park, on Barber Valley Drive in Boise.
She was the second confirmed human case of West Nile in Idaho this year, but the first in Ada County. Twelve Idaho counties, including the surrounding Valley, Canyon, Elmore and Owyhee counties report finding mosquitoes that are positive for West Nile.
“We know the disease will remain until cold weather arrives,” said Dr. Sarah Correll, epidemiologist with CDHD, in a news release. “We hope that this case serves as a reminder to everyone that they need to make every effort to prevent mosquito bites.”
Never miss a local story.
West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Most people infected with the illness show no symptoms. In more serious cases symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.
In some cases, the virus can cause severe illness, especially in people older than 50. West Nile is not contagious from person-to-person through casual contact.
To reduce the likelihood of infection, residents are advised to avoid mosquitoes, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and to use insect repellent.
The West Nile virus does not usually affect domestic animals, but can cause severe illness in horses and certain species of birds. Although there is no vaccine available for people, there are several vaccines available for horses. Owners are advised to vaccinate their horses annually.
For more information, visit westnile.idaho.gov. To track West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in Ada County, visit adacounty.id.gov/Mosquito-Abatement/Mosquito-Tracker.