Iowa has its first confirmed West Nile case of the summer. A northeast Iowa man in his 70s became ill in early July, and tests confirmed yesterday that he’s suffering from West Nile virus. State Epidemiologist Patricia Quinlisk held a news conference yesterday, but refused to name the man or tell reporters where he’s from. Quinlisk says the man is in serious but stable condition, and state officials want to say little else to help preserve his privacy. Quinlisk would not reveal which Iowa hospital is treating the man. Quinlisk says he’s not in a local, small hospital but was referred to a large hospital because “he was so ill.” Quinlisk did say the man was a “part-time farmer” who spent a great deal of time outdoors. His outdoor hours, combined with his age, made him more susceptible to the disease according to Quinlisk. She is urging Iowans to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites because the disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Quinlisk says to use mosquito repellent, cover as much of your skin as possible with clothing and avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Quinlisk says to get rid of any standing water in junk like discarded tires or tin cans, as they provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. She says a bird bath should be emptied at least once a week. Iowa had 52 confirmed cases of West Nile virus last year, and two Iowans died of the disease. The first case of West Nile in Iowa was reported on August 28th of last year.
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