West Nile confirmed in Buchanan County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

West Nile confirmed in Buchanan County

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BUCHANAN COUNTY (KWWL) -

A case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in Buchanan County.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced seven cases of the virus in Iowa, in Buchanan, Clay, Crawford, Monona, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury counties. Two additional cases are under investigation in Sac and Shelby counties. Two confirmed patients were in the hospital, but have been released

The virus is transmitted when an infected mosquito bites a person or animal. About 20 percent of people infected with the virus develop a fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. In 2013, there were 44 confirmed cases of West Nile in Iowa and no deaths.

“We are now seeing either confirmed human cases, animal cases, or positive mosquito pools across a large area of the state,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “This is not unexpected as late summer and autumn are the times when mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are most likely to be circulating. This is why it is important to continue to use insect repellent when outdoors, and to take other protective and preventive measures.”

Less than one percent of those infected become seriously ill. Deaths are rare. West Nile was first found in Iowa in 2002.

So far in 2014, beyond the human cases, four mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus. Two are in Story County, one was found in both Polk and Woodbury counties. A horse in Johnson County also tested positive

The IDPH recommends everyone use insect repellent to prevent the spread of the virus. See the rest of their recommendations below.

Protect:

•Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.

•Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

•Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.

Prevent:

•Eliminate standing water around the home because that's where mosquitoes lay eggs.

•Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes.

•Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

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