Medicine

First West Nile case in Iowa this year reported

First West Nile case in Iowa this year reported

The Will County Health Department reported a fourth mosquito sample tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Preventing mosquito bites is critical both at home and while traveling since many mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus occur in popular travel destinations in the Americas, Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Africa.

It is the first reported case of the year in Alabama. Pedati says until the state's first hard frost, whether for work or play, being outside means there's a risk for West Nile virus infection.

The department says it routinely reports West Nile virus cases and other mosquito-borne diseases in Alabama, and sporadic cases have happened in the state for years. In 2017, the state had 63 cases with two deaths.

West Nile virus is typically spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus can only pass to humans from mosquitoes and horses do not pose any risk to humans for infection, officials said.

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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".

Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors whenever possible.

Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.

Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Those who do develop symptoms usually experience a flu-like illness including fever, headache, body aches and muscle weakness. But more severe cases can end in paralysis or death.

When a person is infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment for these illnesses can substantially lower the risk of developing severe disease.