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.

First cases of chikungunya virus acquired within US


Photo by Ramón Portellano; Flickr
Photo by Ramón Portellano; Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting the first domestically acquired cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus.

Two infected individuals have been identified in Florida; neither had left the country recently enough to have contracted the virus elsewhere.

Chikungunya is not new to the United States; according to the CDC, the US sees an average of 28 cases per year. Until this point, however, these incidents have occurred exclusively in travelers returning from countries where the virus is common.

Symptoms of the Chikungunya virus include fevers and joint pain that usually cease within a week, although the latter can become chronic. Although no vaccine is available, the virus is very rarely fatal, and both US cases appear to be doing well.

 

Mosquitoes and Climate Change


Photo by edans; Flickr

According to Dr. Yogesh Shah, associate dean for global health at Des Moines University, every increase in temperature by one degree can increase the mosquito population by almost eight- to 10-fold. Continue reading

On the Radio: West Nile virus continues past summer


Photo by Abdulmajeed AlShatri, Flickr.

Check out this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below.  It reminds listeners to be wary of West Nile virus into October.

The summer is gone, but Iowans shouldn’t put away their mosquito repellant just yet. Continue reading