Iowa confirms first human case of West Nile for 2014

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Iowa health officials say they’ve confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in the state for 2014.

An adult man was recovering after he was diagnosed in Clay County according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

West Nile is transmitted through mosquitoes.  The best way to prevent the virus is to eliminate or avoid standing water locations such as containers, ditches, pool covers and pet water dishes where mosquitoes can breed.  You should also change the water in bird baths every three or four days.  Use insect repellent when outdoors and avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.  It may also help to protect your skin by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks.

Heavy rains could contribute to a possible increase in the mosquito population as well.  When flood water is stagnant for several weeks, the threat of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus increases.

There were 44 human cases of West Nile virus in Iowa in 2013.  None of those cases were fatal.  About 20 percent of people infected with West Nile will have symptoms like fever, headache, body aches and vomiting.  Less than one percent of infected people become seriously ill.

As of July 1, 2014, Illinois officials had not confirmed any human cases of West Nile in the state for 2014.

Get more information about West Nile virus – click here.