The first case of West Nile Virus has been detected in an Iowa resident.

The Des Moines Register reports that a number of West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes were detected in Des Moines on Wednesday, prompting the city to take immediate action to reduce the mosquito population. The city stated that the treatments, the first of which occurred last night, are a proactive step and emphasized that no known positive cases of West Nile in pets or humans had been reported within the city limits. The Iowa Department of Human Services reported the first case of West Nile virus in Iowa back on June 16th in a 61 to 80-year-old man in Plymouth County.

The Register reports that the West Nile virus in Iowa is currently endemic, meaning that there is likely to be some transmission of the virus, especially during the warmer summer months. In 2022, Health and Human Services reported 9 known cases of West Nile in Iowa with no reported deaths. Many people infected with West Nile never develop symptoms. Those that do experience headaches, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and a rash. In rare cases, West Nile can lead to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and in even rarer cases, death.

Preventing West Nile means preventing mosquitoes. The Register reports that HHS suggests getting rid of any standing water where mosquitoes breed. Wear CDC-recommended insect repellents. Avoid being outside at dusk when mosquitoes are most active. And if you need to be outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants.

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