Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 23, 2002

Silver Lake woman infected with West Nile

By Julie Yurek

The mosquito-spread West Nile Virus hit closer to home with the discovery that a Silver Lake woman has the disease.

This makes a total of 16 people reported to be infected with the West Nile Virus, as of Friday morning.

The unidentified woman in her 50s is recovering at a rehabilitation center, according to Doug Schultz, spokesperson from the Minnesota Department of Health.

She came down with symptoms Aug. 30, which included fever, body aches, chills, headache, and paralysis, which is typical in severe cases, he said.

A blood test is needed to identify the disease, which was done for the Silver Lake case.

It is not known if she traveled recently, or if she contracted it in Minnesota, Schultz said.

"It's hard to say when and where she contracted it," he added.

The incubation time is anywhere from three to 15 days, he said.

There are 13 people infected in Minnesota as of Friday, Schultz said.

There isn't a pattern to where the infected people are located, unlike the infection of birds and horses, which affected mostly the north and northwest part of Minnesota the hardest, he said.

The infected people "are scattered. No one knows if we'll see a pattern. It depends if more are infected," he said.

Some experts are theorizing that if a pattern is found, it may follow the range of a certain type of mosquito, Schultz said.


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