First 2 human cases of West Nile identified

At leat 55 outbreaks have been reported between July 27 and August 5

At leat 55 outbreaks have been reported between July 27 and August 5

The risk of West Nile virus infection is at a level not seen since 2012 when an outbreak infected 290 IL residents, the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District announced Thursday.

West Nile Virus is a disease that is spread through bites of mosquitoes, which become infected after feeding on infected birds.

"That is why we are warning the public", an official said. MDH says there were 30 West Nile cases last year and 83 the year before.

Although most people don't develop symptoms, approximately 20 percent of those infected will develop an infection known as West Nile Fever, according to the CDC.

This year, deaths have so far been reported in Iowa, North Carolina and Texas.

The Cape Cod Times reports that state Department of Health said Thursday 14 mosquito samples from Falmouth, Barnstable, Dennis, Bourne and Yarmouth tested positive for the virus after being trapped Tuesday and July 31.

"The amount of virus we are detecting in mosquitoes is well above the historical average for this time of year and is also occurring earlier in the season than the average", Mark Clifton, the agency's director, said in the release.

People older than 50 or who have weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from the virus.

Wear long sleeves and trousers or wear repellent to help protect yourself from getting bitten.

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