(09/07/2012)
A national West Nile virus outbreak is raising some concern in West Virginia, where suspected human cases are under investigation.

While that is about the normal yearly number in the Mountain State, health officials are saying testing shows that more mosquitoes are carrying the potentially deadly disease.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department says it has trapped mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile virus.

The department's director of environmental health says that thousands of the pests from many different locations have tested positive for the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says West Virginia has joined the list of 47 states reporting West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes.

Officials with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department say tests have shown a man in his 40s has tested positive in initial screenings for the disease.

West Nile is a mosquito-borne disease that causes encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. The worst outbreak has been in Dallas TX , where at least 10 people have died so far this summer. 700 cases are reported nationwide.

State health officials say to use insect repellent, avoid peak mosquito hours at dawn and dusk and wear long sleeves.

The most important step is to empty any standing water on your property. That's where mosquitoes breed.


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