The first human case of West Nile virus in Iowa for this year has been confirmed by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
The case is a middle-aged man from Linn County, who is recovering. The IDPH announced the case on Wednesday, July 3, 2013.
West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquito bites, according to the IDPH.
“This case is a reminder that West Nile virus is out there and Iowans should be taking proper precautions to protect against mosquito bites,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “It’s important to use mosquito repellant and to rid your yards of mosquito breeding areas.”
The IDPH has a list of recommendations to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
- Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. If you have questions when using these produces on children, consult your health care provider. For instance- DEET should not be used on infants less than 2-months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3- years old.
- Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.
- Get rid of standing water around your home; this is where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers, and pet water dishes. Water in bird baths should be changed every three to four days.
Roughly 20-percent of people who contract West Nile virus experience mild to moderate symptoms of fever, headache, body aches and vomiting; less than one-percent become seriously ill. People rarely die from the virus.
In 2012 there were 31 cases of West Nile virus in humans, no deaths resulted from them. West Nile virus first was found in Iowa in 2002 and since then it has been in every Iowa county in either humans, horses, or birds.