West Nile virus arrives early in Iowa


Photo by Gerald Yuvallos; Flickr
Photo by Gerald Yuvallos; Flickr

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, three cases of the West Nile virus have been reported in Iowa so far this year. The mosquito-borne virus has appeared in the state during early autumn since 2002.

So far, one human case has been reported in each of three counties: Clay, Monona, and Woodbury. The State Hygienic Laboratory, which also tests mosquitos, reports that one mosquito pool has tested positive for the virus.

Symptoms of the virus may include fever, aches and vomiting. More serious symptoms, including brain swelling, affect less than one percent of infected people.

Officials encourage Iowans to use insect repellent when outdoors, especially during evenings, and to avoid standing water.

Clay County offers free radon kits for National Radon Action Month


This map from the EPA shows radon levels around Iowa. Red indicates areas with the highest average indoor screening levels of radon.

January is National Radon Action Month, which is especially important to Iowa: the state with the highest concentration of radon in the nation.

To help increase awareness of radon and promote radon testing, Clay County is offering free short-term radon kits to the first 50 people who stop by the Clay County Environmental Health Office.

An estimated 70 percent of Iowa homes contain dangerous levels of radon. According to the EPA, radon accounts for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.

For more information on radon and its risks, listen to our radio clip here.

Read The Daily Reporter’s full article on Clay County’s efforts here.