West Nile Virus Detected In Des Moines

Aedes aegypti

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(Des Moines, IA) -- West Nile Virus has been detected in two mosquito traps in Des Moines. SuAnn Donovan, Deputy Director of Neighborhood Services says crews in trucks will now spray all neighborhoods to kill off mosquitos. She says that effort should wrap up by Sunday.

Donovan also reminds homeowners to get rid of standing water, replace water in birdbaths regularly, and take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.

"This is the time of year when we start to see mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus," said Nola Aigner Davis, Public Health Communications Officer, Polk County Health Department. "The best way to prevent West Nile Virus is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. When going outside, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Remove any standing water from your home. This will prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water. We encourage you to empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw out items that hold water once a week."

West Nile virus can cause serious illness especially among the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports since West Nile fever first appeared in the United States in 1999, more than 45,000 people have been infected, and nearly 2000 of them are known to have died, for a roughly 4% fatality rate.

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