116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
State public health officials have confirmed Iowa’s first case of West Nile virus in 2021.
The mosquito-borne virus was detected in an older adult between the ages of 61 and 80 years in Montgomery County.
The case was confirmed through a test at the State Hygienic Lab, Iowa Department of Public Health said Thursday.
Three Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus last year, but no deaths resulted from the virus.
With Memorial Day and warm weather, public health officials warned being outside poses a risk for West Nile virus infection.
“But we have easily accessible preventive tools like insect repellent, that can help keep Iowans safe from mosquito bites, which lowers the risk of West Nile infection,“ IDPH Medical Director and State Epidemiologist Dr. Caitlin Pedati said in a news release.
Public health officials say individuals should use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.
Individuals should wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors when possible.
Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn, so public health officials urge limiting outdoor activities during that time when possible.
They are also drawn to standing water around the home, such as pet water dishes or pool covers. Individuals should empty water from those containers and change water in bird baths every three to four days.
More information on West Nile virus can be found on the state’s website, idph.iowa.gov.
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