West Nile virus (WNV) is the most common mosquito-borne disease in Kansas and the United States. Several species of mosquitoes are responsible for transmission of arboviruses but Culex species are the primary vector for WNV in Kansas and the United States. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of people infected with WNV show no symptoms. But for the remaining 20 percent, symptoms can include headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Even less commonly, about one in every 150 people develop serious symptoms affecting the central nervous system, including brain and spinal inflammation. This condition results in death in about 10 percent of those cases. There is currently neither a human vaccine nor a cure for WNV, so the only thing you can do is avoid being bitten by a carrier mosquito. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced that Kansas and neighboring states are becoming more and more hospitable to the Culex mosquitoes as average temperatures rise. The KDHE reports that, though there have not yet been any cases of WNV in 2018, from 1999 to 2017 there were 600 cases of the worst form of the disease in Kansas, including 30 deaths. In the KDHE’s latest announcement, the agency indicated that, based on historical human cases of the disease, half of the state is at a high risk for WNV infection, while the rest of the state is at a moderate risk.
Goins, Sara and Ghosh, Anuradha, "A Surveillance Study on Culex sp. in Southeast Kansas and Prevalence of West Nile Virus in the Mosquito Population" (2019). Posters. 21.