Statewide Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced the first case of West Nile virus infection reported in 2019.
According to a release from the IDPH, the first reported case of West Nile was a 61 to 80-year-old man from Audubon County in west central Iowa. The man has reportedly recovered.
IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati reminds Iowans that humans get infected with West Nile virus through a mosquito bite. 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.
Pedati says you should take the following steps to reduce your risk of exposure to West Nile virus:
Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. You should always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3-years of age and DEET should not be used on children less than 2-months of age.
Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors whenever possible.
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.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, last year 104 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus, and nine Iowans died.
For more information on the West Nile virus, visit the IDPH website by CLICKING HERE.