West Nile Virus Much Greater Risk In This Area Than Zika Virus

mosquito - from IDPH web siteNorthwest Iowa — While a great deal of attention has been focused on the Zika virus, health officials say that, in this area, Zika is far less a threat than West Nile virus.

Very few cases of the Zika virus have been confirmed in Iowa, according to Gerd Clabaugh the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

He says you should be aware of the potential to become infected with Zika if you go to one of the countries where the disease is active.

Deputy State Epidemiologist Ann Garvey says the West Nile Virus is a much greater threat from mosquito bites in our area than Zika.

Since 2005, Iowa has had between five and 44 reported cases of West Nile Virus each year. Other ways to protect yourself against all mosquito bites along with wearing repellent include: Wear long sleeves and long pants when possible when outdoors; patch up screens to protect your home from mosquitoes; get rid of standing water to eliminate breeding grounds.

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