The Director of the State Health Department says Iowa’s recorded its first death from the West Nile Virus. Dr. Steven Gleason says the man died fairly rapidly sometime last week after going to his doctor. He says the man was from west-central Iowa and in his 80’s, Tests of his spinal fluid confirm the West Nile Virus was to blame for his death. Gleason declined to give any more details on the victim’s name, residence or other factors involved in his death, as the man’s family has not signed a release allowing that informatio to become public. Gleason says the man may’ve contracted the disease while working in his yard.He says the man was “fairly active” and had been mowing his yard in the two weeks prior to becoming sick, and could’ve been bitten while working in his yard. As of today, Iowa has 30 human cases of the West Nile Virus and animal cases in 98 of 99 counties. He can’t explain why Iowa’s only had one death.He says Iowa has been fortunate to not have more deaths, as Illinois to the east of Iowa has had the most West Nile Deaths in the country. Gleason says Iowans should continue to take steps to avoid mosquitoes as the best way to keep from contracting the disease. He says the danger time for mosquitoes has made a slight shift.He says they’re now a little more active in the daylight hours, as opposed to the dawn and dusk hours before. Gleason says you should wear a replent with “DEET” and long-sleeved clothing during the hours when the mosquitoes are active.
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