State health department says more West Nile virus cases expected

State health department says more West Nile virus cases expected

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The recent rain has caused damage, but the standing water is brewing a new menace.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported a horse has been diagnosed with West Nile virus in Boaz, and is warning more cases for both humans and animals are expected.

The virus is transferred by mosquitoes to humans and traditionally brings flu-like symptoms.

However, worst case scenarios can lead to brain inflammation.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water, something the valley has no shortage of at the moment.

The WAFF 48 First Alert weather team is reporting Huntsville is 7.45 inches above normal rainfall so far this year, with the Shoals area coming in at 8.22 inches.

Mosquito Squad owner Daniel Smartt said hundred of mosquitoes can breed in an amount of water no bigger than a bottle cap.

He recommends dumping standing water near your home, keeping your lawn mowed and using repellent.

“Team up with your neighbors and educate them as well so that they can do some of the same things so you can help your community and your neighborhoods out,” he said.

The Madison County Department of Public Health does actively curb the mosquito population through neighborhood spraying and insecticide, but echoes Smartt’s advice.

Public Health environmental supervisor Cheryl Clay said people should wear covering clothing and protect the skin from mosquito bites.

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