More cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed around the state. Dr. Ann Garvey, deputy medical director at the Iowa Department of Public Health, says five people have now been sickened by the mosquito borne virus.
The cases involved people from Grundy, Linn, Lyon, Page and Plymouth Counties. “We are investigating a couple more cases, so I do anticipate that we’ll get additional cases reported and confirmed this year,” Garvey says. All of the Iowans sickened by the virus so far this year have since recovered.
Garvey notes most people who contract the West Nile virus might not even notice it, but others can become sick and the disease can be deadly. There were nine human cases of West Nile virus and two deaths in Iowa last year.
There are fewer mosquitoes in Iowa this year because of the drought, but Garvey says Iowans should still be protecting themselves with mosquito repellent.
“Although they may not be getting as many mosquito bites as in previous years, there’s definitely still West Nile activity ongoing in our state, so we need to protect ourselves…and wear that repellent when we’re outdoors,” Garvey said. The five cases in Iowa come amid the largest national outbreak of West Nile.
More than 1,100 illnesses have been reported across the country.