The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed a case of West Nile virus in an adult woman in Mills County. The confirmation comes on the heels of the announcement of confirmed cases in Pottawattamie County and Harrison County this month, and as public health officials continue to investigate several potential West Nile virus cases in western Iowa.
“Although cooler temperatures have decreased the mosquito population, it’s clear Mills County residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Mills County Public Health Director of Nursing Ann Pavkov. “The months of standing water resulting from the Missouri River flooding has provided an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes. In addition, it’s not unusual to see West Nile virus activity into the late fall.”
Pavkov said the most effective way to prevent West Nile virus is to stop mosquitoes from breeding and from biting. Prevention measures include:
- Use insect repellent whenever outdoors, especially during peak biting times from dusk to dawn.
- Use 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.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks whenever possible outdoors.
- Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites by removing sources of standing water in outdoor areas whenever possible. For example, turning over or removing items where water can collect, such as ceramic pots, toys, buckets, tires, wading pools, and tarps covering firewood and boats.
Additional information about the West Nile virus is available from the Mills County Health Office in Glenwood (527-9699) or online at www.idph.state.ia.us/adper/wnv_surveillance.asp.