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MN Reports First West Nile Virus Case of 2009 (Jul. 16th, 2009)

Peak West Nile virus season is here again.

July 16, 2009. Press Release from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH):

The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) disease for 2009 has been confirmed in a MN resident. State health officials are reminding Minnesotans to protect themselves from mosquitoes from now through September. A Stevens County woman is the state’s first laboratory confirmed WNV case of the year. She became ill with West Nile meningitis in late June, was hospitalized and is recovering.

To protect themselves from this potentially life-threatening illness, MN residents should be routinely using one of the many mosquito repellent options available and taking other simple precautions against mosquito bites this season, MDH officials said. David Neitzel, an MDH epidemiologist specializing in diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks, said MN has entered the period of highest risk for West Nile virus in humans. “Mid-July through September is the time of year when you’re most likely to be bitten by a mosquito carrying WNV,” he said. “While our cooler than normal weather this summer should help to slow the growth of the virus in mosquitoes and birds, we expect West Nile virus cases every year.”

Information on WNV can be found at the MDH Website. Further information on repellents is at the CDC Website.

People who have questions about West Nile virus can call MDH at 651-201-5414 or 877-676-5414 (outstate) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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