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Iowa reports first human West Nile virus case in Linn County man

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus (WNV) disease in Iowa of 2013.

The patient, is a male middle-aged adult (41 to 60 years of age) from Linn County, who is recovering.

Linn County (red), Iowa Image/David Benbennick

Linn County (red), Iowa
Image/David Benbennick

“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. “Especially going into the holiday weekend when many of us will be spending time outdoors, it’s important to use mosquito repellant and to rid your yards of mosquito breeding areas.”

In 2012, there were 31 human cases of West Nile virus and no deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

Related story: Iowa Reports Seven Cases Of Cyclospora Infection

Health officials say Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products on children. For example, 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.
  • 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.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. CANADA: Two hikers survive GRIZZLY attack in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ CDC issues Advisory on SWINE FLU (H3N2v) ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from ALABAMA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx3, CO, IL, IA, MN, NE, NV, & CANADA: ONTARIO ~ RABIES reports says:

    […] Iowa 07/04/13 Linn County: Public health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state so far this year has occurred in a middle-aged male who is recovering. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/iowa-reports-first-human-west-nile-virus-case-in-linn-county-man-54… […]

  2. Iowa reports seven cases of Cyclospora infection - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] 04 July, 2013 Breaking News > Outbreak […]

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