State Reports 1st Case of West Nile Virus

Department of Public Health and Human Services
July 1, 2015
Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391
State reports first case of West Nile virus Agency offers prevention tips State and local health officials are encouraging Montanans take steps to avoid mosquito bites and prevent infection with West Nile virus (WNV). The state’s first human case has been reported in Rosebud County and reflects an early start to the season. The adult case was hospitalized and is now recovering. To prevent infection, advice includes wearing insect repellent when outdoors, removing standing water from around the home and wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts when possible. It also serves as a reminder that horse owners should get their animals vaccinated and revaccinate annually. Summer is a prime time for exposure to mosquitos in Montana. Removing mosquito breeding areas and preventing mosquito bites are two ways to prevent being infected with West Nile virus. “The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said DPHHS Director Richard Opper. “We encourage everyone to protect themselves while enjoying the outdoors this summer.”
Public health officials offer the following advice to avoid being bitten and encourage all Montanans to remember the 4 D’s of West Nile virus prevention to reduce their chances of becoming ill.
Dusk / Dawn – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus usually bite at dusk and dawn. Limit outdoor activity during those times and if you must be outside protect yourself from bites.
Dress – Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
DEET – Cover exposed skin with a repellant containing the chemical DEET, which is most effective against mosquito bites.

Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they can be excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitos through bites. Three to 14 days after being bitten by a mosquito that carries West Nile virus, about 1 in 5 of those infected will develop a low grade fever, headache and muscle aches lasting for three to six days. Generally, no treatment is needed. However, in less than 1 percent of infected people, serious, life-threatening symptoms develop including headache, rash, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors, convulsions, coma and paralysis. Individuals who develop any of these symptoms should see their health-care provider immediately. Luckily, most infected people don’t develop symptoms and never knew that they were bitten by an infected mosquito. The number of West Nile virus human cases in Montana has been highly variable from year to year since it came to Montana in 2002. Over 200 cases were reported in 2003 and 2007 and none in 2010. In 2014, 5 cases were reported. “Scientists have not been able to predict the number of West Nile virus cases, so it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites and eliminate breeding sites around your home,” said Christine Mulgrew, DPHHS WNV Program Manager. With over 90 percent of cases occurring in August and September, it is time to start actively preventing mosquito bites, she said.

For more information go to the DPHHS website at


sobriety campoutWHEN: July 24-27, 2015

WHERE: Crazy Head Springs campgrounds, 10 miles east of Lame Deer Montana, Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation

WHAT TO BRING: Warm bedding/sleeping bag, towel & washcloth, comb & toothbrush, swim suite or cut-offs, jacke/rain jacked, and clothes and shoes for camping

RECOVERY ACTIVITIES WILL INCLUDE: AA/NA Meetings, Wellbriety, spirituality, sweats, speakers, testimonies

RECREATION ACTIVITIES: Swimming, fishing, site seeing, volleyball, tetherball, horseshoes, basketball, campfires

There will will plenty of free time and good food

Call the Recovery Center to register or for more information (406) 477-4924

Wellness Center sponsors Mother’s Day Health Walk

A cluster of participants enjoy the company & clean air during the Mother's Day health walk
A cluster of participants enjoy the company & clean air during the Mother’s Day health walk

On Friday morning, May 8, 2015 the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Board of Health’s Wellness Center sponsored a Mother’s Day Health Walk at the Kenneth Beartusk Memorial Pow Wow Grounds south of Lame Deer, Montana. Approximately 75 community members of all ages attended the event, where the Wellness Center (Cheyennes In Balance program) organized a 1 mile health walk, providing participants free health screenings, free t-shirts and a free healthy brown bag lunch.

Tobacco Prevention Program Events, November 2014 – February 2015

Community Tobacco Prevention Meeting, NCT Littlewolf Capitol Building
Llevando “Cowboy” Fisher (NCT President), Janet Sucha, Alison Riedmohr and Charleena Penama (Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program MTUPP), Teresa McMakin (NCTS Principal), William “Bill” Parker (LDPS Supt.), and Norma Bixby (NCTS Board member/NCT Ed Dept.) attended the event. President Fisher conducted the opening address to the MTUPP staff and community and shared his personal experience as a former commercial tobacco smoker. He had a powerful message to convey to the crowd. The MTUPP staff will be coming back periodically to Lame Deer.