First West Nile virus case found in Iowa for 2019

Iowa News

Photo: Deep Look / CC BY-SA 4.0

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the first case of West Nile virus infection of 2019 on Friday, July 12.

According to the IDPH, it was found in a 61- to 80-year-old man from Audubon County. The man has recovered since then.

“Humans get infected with West Nile virus through a mosquito bite. Until the state’s first hard frost, whether it’s for work or play, being outside means there’s a risk for West Nile virus infection,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati.

The IDPH wants Iowans to take the following steps to reduce the risk of getting the West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.
  • Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years of age and DEET should not be used on children less than 2 months of age.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors whenever possible.
  • Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

IDPH said 104 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus and nine Iowans died in 2018.

For more information on the West Nile Virus click here.

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