An illness involving an adult female from Platte County has been reported to the Wyoming Department of Health as the state’s first reported human West Nile virus (WNV) case for 2013.

Emily Thorp, surveillance epidemiologist with the Wyoming Department of Health, said Wyoming’s season for West Nile virus is not finished. It remains important for people to protect themselves from the mosquito bites that can spread the disease.

Thorp noted a few of the states surrounding Wyoming have seen a handful of WNV cases and said activity nationally is significantly lower so far this year compared to 2012. She said most people infected with WNV never develop symptoms. Among those who become ill, symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. A very small percentage of infected persons develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease (i.e. meningitis or encephalitis) with symptoms such as severe headache, fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and paralysis.

The Wyoming Public Health Laboratory offers free WNV testing for healthcare providers with suspected cases in their patients.

In Wyoming last year, seven human WNV cases were reported. Since WNV first appeared in Wyoming in 2002, the annual numbers of reported human cases have range