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.

Mountain lion shot and killed in Iowa

Photo by CaliforniaDFG, Flickr

A mountain lion was shot and killed by local police officers in Monona County this morning.

According to the DNR, the occasional appearance of mountain lions in Iowa is usually caused by dominant males pushing younger male mountain lions out of their natural territory.

The mountain lion likely came from a state west of Iowa.

After testing the mountain lion to determine its age, feeding habits and place of origin, it will be mounted and displayed in Monona County.

Mountain lions have no legal wildlife status in Iowa, but it is still unclear why it was necessary to kill the animal.

For more information, read the Iowa DNR press release here.

For more extensive information about mountain lion activity in Iowa, click here.

Western Iowa experiences natural gas leak

Photo by Bill Roehl, Flickr

Last weekend a natural gas pipeline leaked near the Missouri River floodplain in Monona County.

Read more from NCNewsPress.com:

 A pipeline carrying natural gasoline developed a leak over the weekend, with the potential to lose about 140,000 gallons of gasoline in the Missouri River floodplain southwest of Onawa. Continue reading