Dept of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

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Vector-Borne Disease

Vector-borne disease are bacterial and viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Some of these diseases have been long present in the United States while others have recently emerged. These include some of the world's most destructed diseases, m any of which are increasing threats to human health as the environment changes and globalization increases.

Lyme disease and West Nile Virus are the two disease of most concern in Walworth County.

Prevention for both illness revolves around exposure to the insect. Key prevention steps are:

  • Use a bug spray that contains DEET

  • Wear long pants and sleeves when outside

  • Decrease habitats in your yard by removing standing water and using mulch to separate out areas of long grasses from lawns

  • Check yourself and your pets for ticks frequently when spending time outdoors

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Fact Sheet (WI DHS)

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Lyme Disease Website

CDC Lyme Disease

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) is an arborvirus that is transmitted by a bite of an infected mosquito. Walworth County has had multiple cases of human West Nile Virus in recent years.

An estimated 80% of people infected by WNV never experience symptoms. Most of the remaining 20% will experience relatively mild illness, with symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pains, a skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, and photophobia. Less than one percent (approximately oven of every 150 people) infected with WNV become seriously ill. Severe symptoms include a sudden onset of a high fever, neck stiffness, extreme muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, or disorientation.

In nature, mosquitoes become infected with WNV by feeding on infected birds and can transmit the virus to other animals, birds, and humans. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health monitors dead birds for WNV as an early warning system to indicate that the virus may be present in the area. This information is important to heighten awareness in the prevention and control of WNV disease. People can report dead birds found near their homes to the following hotline

Dead bird Reporting Hotline 800-433-1610

West Nile Virus Fact Sheet (WI DHS)

West Nile Virus Website (WI DHS)

CDC West Nile Virus Page

Additional Resources

CDC Vector-borne Disease Division



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