2 people in southeast Wisconsin with West Nile virus have died
Shelley Walcott reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
GREENFIELD - A 78-year-old Greenfield woman has died of West Nile virus. Greenfield Health Director Darren Rausch says she died earlier this week, and probably became ill close to home.
"From what we know she wasn't able to give a really good history about her travel but I would surmise based on what we know that it was contracted in this area," Rausch told TODAY'S TMJ4.
The Greenfield death isn't the only one in southeastern Wisconsin. Someone -- only known to be over the age of 50 -- has also died of West Nile in Waukesha County. Health officials are reminding people to avoid mosquitoes, which carry the disease.
"Avoiding contact at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active, wearing repellants, wearing long sleeves, and eliminating standing water," said Rausch.
The symptoms of West Nile can be hard to spot, often looking very similar to the flu in its early stages. And while most of us will probably never get the disease, news of these deaths has people in the area rethinking their time outside.
Close to 2,000 people in the United States have contracted West Nile this year. Eighty-five have died. The majority of the cases are from Texas.
In Wisconsin, there's 12 likely cases of West Nile, although just one has been confirmed.