The state Health Department says it has confirmed the West Nile Virus in three dead birds found in Johnson, Linn and Lyon Counties. Health Department spokesperson
Nicole Peckumn says they’re asking you to take some steps to “Fight the Bite” of mosquitoes to help prevent the spread of West Nile. She says you should use insect repellent with the chemical “DEET” , avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and remove standing water from around your yard and home to get rid of the mosquito breeding grounds.
Peckumn says West Nile usually causes no symptoms in most people, but approximately 20 percent will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting.
Peckumn says older Iowans are more susceptible to the virus. She says people over 50 have an increased risk for complications from the virus, and people of that age or older should take all the appropriate precautions.
Peckumn says West Nile can be deadly in some cases. Peckumn says two Iowans died from West Nile last year and 35 people got sick from the virus. The Iowa Department of Public Health has a toll-free hotline with West Nile information. The number is 866-WNV-Iowa (1-866-968-4692).