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Northcentral Kansan Tests Positive For West Nile

State health officials say an adult from Republic County, in northcentral Kansas, has the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in Kansas this year.

No information has been released as to the patient’s condition, or whether he or she has been hospitalized.

The disease is spread by infected mosquitoes, and is not contagious from person to person. KDHE spokeswoman Aimee Rosenow says this is the time of year when the species of mosquito that carries West Nile is most active.

“The Culex species of mosquitoes that we look at when we’re doing our mosquito surveillance actually had a spike in their population around this time last year, and heading into particularly the end of September and early October,” Rosenow says.

Symptoms of West Nile infection can range from a slight headache and low-grade fever to severe neurological impairment, and, in rare cases, death.

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