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Mosquito Control District: West Nile virus back in Minnesota

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Get out the bug spray: West Nile virus has made its way back to Minnesota, WCCO reports.

According to the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, the virus was found in a sample collected and tested in Scott County this week.

No human cases of the disease have been reported thus far. Last year, the first human case of the potentially life-threatening virus was reported by the end of July, the Star Tribune said.

About one in five people develop a fever and flu-like symptoms from the West Nile virus, but most people don't get any symptoms at all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

An official with the MMCD told KSTP that it's typical for the virus to resurface in the state at this time. Wet conditions followed by hot weather can typically boost the population of mosquitoes, officials say.

“We expect West Nile virus to show up in mosquito samples and birds at this time of year, and while people aren’t necessarily at greater risk yet, we all should take common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said MMCD vector ecologist Kirk Johnson.

Less than 1 percent of people infected with the virus develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness, the CDC says.

Last year, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed the first death from West Nile virus in August. Officials did not reveal any details about the victim, only to say he was man from greater Minnesota.

The department has a map of where all the cases of West Nile virus occurred in in the state in 2013. The MDH says there were 73 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Minnesota last year, and three deaths.

The MDH has a list of prevention tips on its website. The department urges people wear mosquito repellent containing up to 30 percent DEET (10 percent for children).


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