TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The number of West Nile Virus cases has grown in the past week, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Twelve more cases were added, bringing the total number up to 32 in the state. Two patients have died because of West Nile Virus out of the 32 reported in Kansas.
"Cases are on the rise. We want to bring this to everyone's attention as we expect an increase in this disease before winter is here, and we strongly encourage the use of methods that prevent mosquito bites," said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.
This is the case count by county as of October 7:
Sedgwick - 7
Barton - 6
Johnson - 3
Sherman - 2
Wyandotte - 2
Atchison - 1
Butler - 1
Chautauqua - 1
Decatur - 1
Ellis - 1
Logan - 1
Marshall - 1
Republic - 1
Rice - 1
Saline - 1
West Nile Virus is not spread person-to-person. It is spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes.
According to KDHE, most people will not get sick, but some symptoms include a slight headache to low-grade fever, ranging to swelling of the brain or brain tissue, and even death.
People who have contracted West Nile before are considered immune.
KDHE recommends the following precautions to protect against West Nile Virus:
"--When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient on skin and clothing, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Follow the directions on the package.
--Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
--Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used."
People are more likely to contract the virus in the late months of summer and early fall.
In 2012, 57 cases of West Nile Virus were reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information about the virus: http://www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes/.