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Minnesota’s first case of West Nile

Lead Summary

Minnesota’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) disease of 2013 has been reported in a Murray County man. He became ill with West Nile fever earlier this month and is recovering, Minnesota state health officials reported.
They are now urging Minnesotans to protect themselves from mosquitoes by using mosquito repellents at dusk and dawn, the times when mosquitoes are most active.
West Nile virus is a potentially life-threatening disease and Minnesotans should protect themselves by routinely using mosquito repellents and taking other simple precautions against mosquito bites, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officials said.
Last year, Swift County saw two people fall ill with WNV. They were the first cases in the county since one person was infected in 2006.  Since the disease was first discovered in the state in 2002, Swift County has seen five cases. The other two were one each in 2003 and 2002.
One Swift County resident reported having contracted WNV in 2010, but it is likely that he contracted the disease when bitten by mosquitoes in the Twin Cities, he said. The Minnesota Department of Health’s WNV reflect where a person got the disease, not where they live.
Pope County saw its first case of WNV since 2007 last year. It has also seen five cases since 2002. In Chippewa County, four cases of the mosquito-borne disease were confirmed last year with a total of nine cases since 2002.
Statewide last year, Minnesota saw 70 WNV cases with one death. Western Minnesota saw 21 of those case, the most it has recorded since the peak year of 2003 when 148 cases were confirmed.
Photo: Culex tarsalis mosquitoes prefers grassy areas of western Minnesota.

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