MS confirms 1st case of West Nile virus for 2019

A Bay County Mosquito Control employee sprays ditches from the bed of a mobile treatment truck on Farley Road in Portsmouth Township

An Audubon County man has tested positive for West Nile Virus, the first case confirmed in an Iowan in 2019.

"Public Health is working very closely with healthcare providers, Maricopa County Environmental Services and state and federal partners to maintain a strong surveillance system both for humans and mosquitoes, and to put prevention strategies in place", said Dr. Sunenshine.

In 2018, MS had 50 cases of the mosquito-borne illness, with no deaths from it. Humans are infected through a mosquito bite.

West Nile Virus is spread by mosquitoes in Iowa. Cases usually increase in the late summer and early fall.

Where in the state the death occurred was not immediately released.

According Dr. Dee W. Jones, the state public health veterinarian, "Positive cases in veterinary species, such as horses, can serve as a reminder that infected mosquitoes are circulating and people can be at risk".

Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

· Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 when going outdoors. But more severe cases can end in paralysis or death.

Approximately one in five people who are infected with the virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

Eliminate standing water around the home because that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. The disease killed nine people and caused serious illness in 95 in Iowa in 2018. More information about the virus is available online.

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