The Iowa Department of Public Health believes first human case of West Nile Virus has been detected in southeast Iowa’s Lee County. With the disease documented in animals in 75 counties, Public Health Department Director Stephen Gleason said it was only a matter of time before the disease hit a human. His prediction came true as a 50-year-old man who had gone in for what he thought was the flu, was diagnosed with West Nile. The man has recovered after spending six days in the hospital. Gleason says there may already be other people in the state that haven’t been diagnosed because they don’t have symptoms of the disease, or think the symptoms are something else. Gleason doesn’t think the disease poses a fatal threat right now.He says there will probably be a West Nile virus in the next ten years, but he doesn’t think it will happen this year. Gleason discussed what his department will do next.He says they will step up the effort to get cities and counties to remove potential mosquito growth areas. Gleason says he’s not recommending that every county start spraying for mosquitoes.He says there is controversy over spraying for mosquitoes, and the C-D-C only recommends spraying if there’s a problem with a cluster of cases in one area. Gleason says they also increase their program to get the public to wear mosquito repellant and avoid being out during times when mosquitoes are active. He says the mosquitoes that come out at night, dusk, and dawn, seem to be the ones that carry the virus. Gleason says a frost is the only thing that will kill off the mosquitoes for good this year.
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