Skip to main content

State records 1st West Nile case of season

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Minnesota has recorded its first case of West Nile, the mosquito-borne virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and can be – in very rare cases – fatal.

The Minnesota Health Department has confirmed that a Pope County woman became sick Aug. 2 with West Nile fever, but she did not require hospitalization, FOX 9 reports.

West Nile has taken a lot longer to surface in Minnesota this year than it did last year, when the first human case was reported in July.

West Nile was first detected in mosquitoes this season in a sample of the bugs collected in Scott County in early July.

Relatively low risk

Minnesota health officials keep close tabs on West Nile, given the state's prosperous mosquito population.

But your risks of getting West Nile fever, or the more serious West Nile encephalitis, are relatively low. 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.

Only 1 out of 150 people bitten by an infected mosquito will develop the more severe form of West Nile, West Nile encephalitis, Minnesota health officials say. Click here for more facts and figures from the department.

3 deaths last year

The state health department reported that there were 73 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Minnesota last year and three deaths. In 2012, there was one West Nile-related death in the state, in Stevens County.

The health department has a map of where all the cases of West Nile virus occurred in the state in 2013.

The department also has a list of prevention tips on its website. The department urges people to wear mosquito repellent containing up to 30 percent DEET (10 percent for children) to avoid mosquito bites. The risk for West Nile virus continues until the first frost, David Nietzel with the Minnesota Department of Health, told WCCO.

For more information, check out this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, or visit this University of Minnesota page.

Next Up

Catholic rosary beads

Former priest in Minnesota charged with sexually assaulting friend

The victim says the priest got them drunk and then sexually assaulted them.

ITT Tech

Student loans cancelled for 1,380 Minnesota ITT Tech students

President Joe Biden moved to cancel the federal debt this week.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 2.17.19 PM

Twine kills 2 young ospreys in Long Lake, Minnesota

One bird was found hanging by its leg from the nest.

Mindy Kiepe

5 Great Danes kill owner on northwest Iowa farm

The dogs were euthanized after the incident.

Becker Public Schools

School district sued by teachers' union over staff 'gag order'

The district has faced heightened scrutiny for months now.

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after driver crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.

Muhammad Masood

Guilty plea: Ex-Mayo Clinic researcher tried to fly to Syria and fight for ISIS

Muhammad Masood, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man says he was pistol-whipped, robbed at gunpoint by trio

The incident allegedly happened in Brooklyn Park early Friday morning.