Pella Chronicle

September 19, 2011

First Human West Nile Virus Case of 2011 in Iowa


Iowa Dept of Public Health

Des Moines, Iowa — September 14, 2011

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus disease in Iowa in 2011. The case is an adult (18 to 40 years) male from Pottawattamie County, who is recovering. “Although summer is the season most typically associated with mosquitoes, the West Nile virus season in Iowa usually lasts until the first frost,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If mosquitoes are still flying, there is still a danger from West Nile virus.”

The best way to prevent West Nile virus is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and to use insect repellent when outdoors. Iowans should take the following steps to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

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 first appeared in Iowa in 2002, it has been found in every county in Iowa, either in humans, horses, or birds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 1,021 total human cases of West Nile virus in the U.S. in 2010, including 57 deaths. Eight cases were reported in Iowa, including two deaths.

For more information about West Nile virus, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/Cade/WNV.aspx.