Third Case of West Nile Virus

State officials said a Dale County woman, whose name was not released, was diagnosed with West Nile virus.

She has been released from the hospital but is still undergoing treatment.

Forty-seven-year-old Arthur Flynn of Dothan was identified last week as the second human victim of the virus in the state. He is recovering at home after being hospitalized in late July.

A 71-year-old Dale County man was identified as the state's first human case.

So far this year, tests of 210 birds, 25 pools of mosquitoes and five horses revealed the virus. The virus is in 36 of Alabama's 67 counties, officials said.

The numbers exceed the level of virus activity reported last year, when 59 positive birds in 13 counties were detected, and none earlier than the end of August.

In 2001 Alabama experienced two human cases of West Nile virus infection, one of which was fatal. Extended Web Coverage

West Nile virus Facts

  • The West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) in humans and other animals.

  • The virus is named after the West Nile region of Uganda where it was first isolated in1937.

  • The virus appeared for the first time in the United States during a 1999 outbreak in New York that killed seven people.

How is the West Nile virus Spread?

  • The virus is spread to humans, birds and other animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.

  • A mosquito becomes infected by biting a bird that is carrying the virus.

  • West Nile virus is not spread from person to person, and no evidence indicates the virus can be spread directly from birds to humans.

  • Only a small population of mosquitoes are likely to be infected and most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not become sick.

  • 1 in 300 people bitten by an infected mosquito get sick.

  • 1 in 100-150 who get sick become seriously ill.

  • 3 to 15 percent of those seriously ill die.

Symptoms of the Virus

  • The symptoms generally appear about 3 to 6 days after exposure. People over the age of 50 are at a greater risk of severe illness.

  • Milder symptoms include: Slight fever, headache, body aches, swollen glands and/or sometimes a skin rash.

  • Severe symptoms include: High fever, intense headache, stiff neck, and/or confusion.

Protecting Yourself

  • Control mosquitoes from breeding around your home.

  • Wear long and light colored clothing.

  • Use insect repellent products with no ore than 20-30 percent DEET for adults and less than 10 percent for children.

  • Spray repellent on your hands and then apply to your face. Be sure repellent is safe for human skin.

  • Wash off repellent daily and reapply as needed.

Source: contributed to this report