Second death reported from West Nile virus

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a second death from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. Department Medical Director Patricia Quinlisk says lab results confirm 10 cases across the state with several more under investigation.

“To be honest a lot of people who have West Nile will have no symptoms whatsoever. It’s just the very unlucky few that get seriously ill with it and unfortunately every once in a while someone doe die of this disease,” according to Quinlisk.

The disease is carried by mosquitoes and Doctor Quinlisk says one way to reduce the risk of getting sick is to use ample amounts of insect repellent containing DEET and wear long sleeves and pants in areas prone to have mosquitoes. She says even with cooler temperatures, you still face the threat of being infected.

“The mosquitoes that carry West Nile actually are more prevalent now than they were at the beginning of the summer and we are still having cases of West Nile reported to us,” Quinlisk says. She says use the preventative measures until the mosquito threat is over.

“We will continue to see West Nile activity in Iowa until we get that first hard frost that kills all the mosquitoes,” Quinlisk explains. Quinlisk says West Nile virus can cause high fevers and brain-swelling. The first West Nile death was reported September 29th.

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