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POLK COUNTY: West Nile Virus Found

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The West Nile virus is present in mosquitoes in Polk County and health officials are warning residents they could still contract the virus.

The Polk County Health Department says data collected by the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University indicates that mosquitoes carrying the potentially deadly virus are present and active in Polk County.

An epidemic of West Nile virus is being seen in the southern part of the country.

“People may think that the worry lies in other areas of the country but this is the time of year when we typically see a peak in West Nile cases in Iowa,” said Polk ?County Health Department Director Rick Kozin.

No confirmed human cases of the virus have been reported in Polk County yet, but across the state 11 cases have been reported.

Most people infected do not show symptoms, but some may have fever, headaches and body aches. More vulnerable populations like kids and the elderly can suffer serious side effects or even death.

The Polk County Health Department suggests avoiding outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Wearing long sleeved garments and long pants as well as using an insect repellent including DEET will also help lessen the chance of contracting the virus.

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