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Second West Nile death reported in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting the second death this year from the West Nile virus.
LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting the second death this year from the West Nile virus.

The first death was 88-year-old William Spencer, who died August 19th from complications related to West Nile virus.

The ADH says there have been 23 reported case of West Nile in Arkansas so far this year.

The City of Texarkana declared an emergency related to the virus outbreak. The state of emergency allows the city to being spraying for mosquitoes immediately.

In other cities, that won't be necessary. North Little Rock, for instance, has had a mosquito bite program for more than 30 years.  It was set up because residents there don't like mosquitoes, not because of West Nile, but it works just the same.

"Hopefully we won't have a bad problem here, but we're doing what we can not to," explained Connie Fowler of the North Little Rock Health Department.

North Little Rock sprays for mosquitoes every weekday between the months of May and October from 7pm to 11pm.

Prevention info from ADH

The best way to prevent West Nile virus disease is to avoid mosquito bites. Do this by practicing the “Three D’s.”

• Drain standing water from your yard. Empty standing water in flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.
• Don’t go out at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes feed without protective clothing (long sleeves and pants).
• Do use insect repellents with the active ingredient DEET when you go outdoors.

Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than one percent will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection due to West Nile virus will die. People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and organ transplants are at greater risk for serious illness.

There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent, human West Nile virus infection. People with milder illnesses typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. In more severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to
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