New West Nile Virus Warning for Ankeny, Polk County
Mosquitos carrying the virus are active in the region. Here are symptom and tips on how to protect yourself.
Health officials are warning that conditions are ripe in Polk County for cases of the West Nile Virus to strike the area.
Data from the Iowa State University Department of Entomology indicates that mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are present and active in Polk County, according to a news release from the county health department. There have been 11 human cases in Iowa so far.
“People may think that the worry lies in other areas of the country but this is the time of year when we typically see a peak in West Nile cases in Iowa,” Rick Kozin, Polk County Health Department director, said in the release.
Infection is not always obvious. The health department sas that most people who are infected with West Nile Virus don’t have any symptoms. Others may experience mild illness such as fever, headache, and/or body aches before fully recovering. However, some people may experience severe headaches, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness and/or death.
Health Department officials are suggesting that people avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
“The best protections against mosquitoes in general, and West Nile Virus in particular, are to remove any standing water in or around your house, wear long pants and long sleeve shirts, and use an insect repellant containing DEET,” said Mr. Kozin.