The Allegheny County Health Department said Wednesday that it has discovered a sixth case of West Nile virus in the county in 2018.
The county did not provide much information, but said the patient is a Bellevue resident over the age of 50 and is recovering.
West Nile is spread primarily through mosquito bites; it’s not transmitted from person-to-person. County health officials say people who believe they have the virus should be seen by their health care provider.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people infected with West Nile do not develop any symptoms. However, about 1 in 5 people get a fever and other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can linger for weeks or months.
For a very few with a West Nile infection — about 1 in 150 people — they develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis. High fever, neck stiffness, tremors, muscle weakness and numbness are among the symptoms. People over 60 are at a greater risk and recovery can take months; about 1 out of 10 with severe illness die.