The National Centers for Disease Control has released their final report on West Nile cases in 2005. Iowa had 37 cases, which was similar to Minnesota with 43 and Missouri with 31. Other neighboring states had much large numbers, with 228 cases in South Dakota, 245 in Illinois and 133 in Nebraska. Iowa Department of Public Health spokesman Kevin Teale says it’s hard to compare states, because weather plays a big impact.
Teale says the weather factor was evident within Iowa’s borders. Teale says the mosquitoes that carry the disease are weather dependent and he says many of Iowa’s cases were in northwest Iowa where they got a lot of rain. He says southeast Iowa had fewer cases and remains in a drought situation. There were two deaths among the cases in Iowa. Teale says it also hard to gauge the impact of the disease from year to year.
He says we do know that it is a disease that’s probably going to be with us for awhile and people need to continue to take precautions. He says it’s hard to make a year to year comparison without delving deeper into information on the weather and how the weather impact mosquito growth. You can find a complete list of the West Nile cases nationwide at the C-D-C’s website at www.cdc.gov.