Northeast Wisconsin resident tests positive for West Nile Virus

Health officials want to remind people to drain and cover to keep mosquitoes away. (Paul Pyro / YouTube)

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - State health officials say a Northeast Wisconsin resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus--the first confirmed human case in 2019.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services did not release the exact location of the patient or any other identifying details.

West Nile is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get it by feeding on birds.

Most human cases happen in August and September. The state says people should protect themselves from mosquitoes to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile or other mosquito-borne illnesses--Jamestown Canyon virus, La Crosse encephalitis virus, or eastern equine encephalitis virus.

DHS says chances of getting West Nile are low. Most people won't get sick. Symptoms include fever, headache and rash. It can be more serious for people with weakened immune systems.

How do you keep the mosquitoes at bay? Here are tips from DHS:

Limit time spent outside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

Apply an insect repellant with DEET, IR3535, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing.

Make sure window and door screens are intact to prevent mosquitoes from getting into your home.

Prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing stagnant water from items around your property, such as tin cans, plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, roof gutters, and downspouts.

Turn over wheelbarrows, wading pools, boats, and canoes when not in use.

Change the water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every three days.

Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs; drain water from pool covers.

Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas, and trim tall grass, weeds, and vines since mosquitoes use these areas to rest during hot daylight hours.