Students and community members have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus, a mosquito-born virus.
Although Sanford Vermillion did not provide exact numbers, they confirmed there has been more than one case. The community has been taking precautions with mosquito spraying and the student affected gave insight on how to keep safe.
Bradie Timmons, a sophomore criminal justice major, said she went into Sanford Vermillion after another person in her sorority was diagnosed with the virus.
“I actually went into the student health center after I noticed that another one of the girls in my sorority had the same rash, and she said she just (went) and they diagnosed her,” Timmons said. ” I went and by the time I got my results back, they told me that it was no longer currently active.”
Timmons believes she contracted the virus while in Vermillion and thought the rashes she had were just hives.
“I initially thought I had a lot of bug bites on my legs and feet but then my whole body kind-of started to break out in rash,” Timmons said. “I just assumed it was the flu.”
Timmons said that she recommends if students have any symptoms of the virus that they go to Sanford Vermillion.
“(If you) have any body aches or any type of reaction on your body definitely go to the doctor and make sure just because this disease (can) get pretty bad,” Timmons said.
John Prescott, city manager of Vermillion, said in an email interview with The Volante that there are mosquito traps around the community. The amount of times the community sprays mist is when the trap counts are high.
“We have a series of traps around town that monitor the mosquito population. When the counts in the traps are high enough, the State permits us to mist (sometimes called fog) the community,” Prescott said. “This usually takes place in the summer months between 9 to 11 p.m. when weather conditions permit.”
Prescott said there are precautions for mosquito spraying on private property.
“While mosquitoes don’t travel far in comparison to some other species, the action the City takes may not reach onto private property,” Prescott said. “The City also can’t come onto private property to treat areas for mosquitoes with publicly funded items. Private property owners should monitor their property for standing water and other habit that foster mosquitoes.”
Amanda Duxbury, a family medicine physician at Sanford Vermillion, said that the symptoms the virus carries can go unnoticed.
“Eight out of 10 people that get infected with West Nile won’t have any symptoms as well,” Duxbury said. “So it’s actually less common to have symptoms they can be as mild as cold-like symptoms- so congestion, cough, headache, body aches and only the more severe cases are gonna have the headaches and fevers.”
Duxbury said that she has not seen many patients come into Sanford Vermillion worried about the West Nile virus. Precautions should also be taken by individuals to keep safe, Duxbury said.
Precautions should also be taken by individuals to keep safe, Duxbury said.
“West Nile we know is transmitted by mosquitos so the most important thing we could do is trying to limit our exposure to mosquitos and then also try and limit mosquito breeding,” Duxbury said. “Personally making sure that when you are outdoors that you are applying bug spray… and if you can, wearing long sleeves, keeping areas covered as much as you can as well.”
Video by Laurel Kettlehut courtesy of Coyote News.