(DES MOINES) The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus disease in Iowa of 2013. The case is a male middle-aged adult (41 to 60 years of age) from Linn County, who is recovering.
IDPH Medical Director Dr. Patricia said this case is a reminder that West Nile virus is out there and Iowans should be taking proper precautions to protect against mosquito bites.
West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquito bites. The best way to prevent the virus is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and to use insect repellent when outdoors.
Approximately 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies.
Since West Nile virus first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. In 2012, there were 31 human cases of West Nile virus and no deaths.