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CONTACT: Don Pickard, Health Department, (816) 840-2548

First probable case of West Nile virus detected in Kansas City

The first probable case of West Nile virus surfaced this weekend in a Kansas City man. The victim, in his 40s, is currently under care at an area hospital. Confirmation tests are pending.

The man recently donated plasma. Although the risk for transmission of West Nile virus from an individual unit of plasma collected and frozen is likely to be low, the Food and Drug Administration advises voluntary withdrawal as a rational response. The Health Department is working with the plasma agency to withdraw the plasma from distribution. This does not significantly impact the area’s blood supply.

The Health Department warns that prevention is the best way to fight West Nile virus. Protective measures include avoiding being outside during the active mosquito periods, usually dawn and dusk; repairing all window and door screens; and wearing an insect repellant containing DEET per the manufacturer’s instructions.

A good portion of the West Nile virus season is still before us. Dr. Archer, director of the Health Department, encourages area residents who may have treated areas with larvicide earlier this year to re-treat the potential mosquito breeding areas that cannot be easily eradicated.

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