Five more people have been added to Iowa’s total of those diagnosed with the West Nile virus. Assistant state epidemiologist Dr. Cort Lohff says only one of the five was admitted to a hospital, which could mean more people are being tested in clinics and doctor’s offices because awareness is growing of the typical West Nile symptoms. He says symptoms can be a headache, occasional nausea and vomiting, swollen glands, and usually severe fatigue and weakness. Dr Lohff says it’s also wise for potential patients to know what kind of symptom does not signal West Nile.He says people don’t get sore throats, runny nose, cough, or other symptoms of the common cold. Dr Loaf says West Nile is just the newest virus being added in a list of mosquito-borne germs with many of the same symptoms. He says we know of a handful of others like La Crosse encephalitis, which affects mainly young children during seasons when mosquitoes are active. He says St. Louis encephalitis, while also similar, seems to strike older people more often, though that means only one or two Iowa cases in the average year. He says for the most part, people haven’t been unreasonably worried about the disease, and seem to recognize its signs and take appropriate action. The five new cases bring Iowa’s total to 24 human cases of West Nile, and the state has still not had a fatality blamed on the virus.
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