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Mosquito sample in Norfolk tests positive for West Nile Virus, health officials say

The mosquito sample was collected in the Edgewater/Larchmont neighborhood on Sept. 14.

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk health officials are warning people to protect against mosquito bites after one sample tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The mosquito sample was collected in the Edgewater/Larchmont neighborhood on Sept. 14. According to the Norfolk Department of Public Health, it's the first West Nile Virus activity of the season in the city.

Since the sample collection, officials are undergoing mosquito control operations in the neighborhood, which involves treating storm drains and standing water, conducting fogging operations and continuing surveillance.

People can catch West Nile Virus by the bite of an infected mosquito, but most people infected don't have any symptoms.

When people do get sick from the virus, symptoms can include mild fever, headache, body aches, vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms in serious cases include high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, muscle weakness, confusion, disorientation, paralysis, seizures or a coma.

Around 10% of people who get serious illness die from it, according to health officials.

The Norfolk Department of Public Health has some advice for people to prevent getting mosquito-borne illnesses:

  • Use insect repellents when outside in mosquito-infested areas. Always make sure that you follow the label's directions.
  • Wear clothing that is long, light and loose.
  • Home doors and windows should be well-screened.
  • Remove old tires, buckets, tubs, toys and other things that hold rainwater to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.

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