MOBILE, Alabama – A case of human West Nile virus (WNV), which is a form of mosquito-borne encephalitis, has been confirmed by laboratory results, according to Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for the Mobile County Health Department.
The case is from the 36610 ZIP code area and involves a female patient in her 70s. The patient is being treated at a local hospital. This is the first human case reported in Mobile County this year, health officials said. Because of patient confidentiality laws, no other information is available about the case.
Humans with WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases often have symptoms of high fever, severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis, disorientation, and seizures that are severe enough to require medical attention, Eichold said. In rare cases, WNV can cause coma or death. The seriousness of an illness may depend on a person’s health and age. WNV affects the elderly most severely, health data shows.
“The public should assume that there are mosquitoes carrying the disease throughout Mobile, not just in the ZIP code of the patient,” Eichold said. “Don’t let your guard down.”