Deadly West Nile Outbreak Hits Iowa
The Iowa Department of Health is reporting 3 deaths and 73 confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus this year in Iowa. In 2017, only 12 people were infected in the Hawkeye state. Officials expect more sicknesses to be reported over the next couple of weeks. The Des Moines Register explains why, "Late summer and early fall are prime time for Culexbreeds of mosquito, which are most likely to carry West Nile virus."
The CDC says the "most effective way to prevent infection from West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites." If you plan on being outside over the next few weeks use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
The Mayo Clinic explains that most cases of the mosquito-transmitted virus aren't severe: "Most people infected with West Nile virus either don't develop signs or symptoms or have only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache." The clinic says in extreme cases, "people develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the spinal cord or brain."