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North Dakota records first Human West Nile Virus case of the year

National Institute of Health

Officials with North Dakota Health and Human Services are stepping up their warnings to protect yourself from mosquito bites. This follows the discovery of a Morton County individual who was infected with the virus…

“Fortunately it was not a severe case. We do have a high number of severe cases normally – about 50% of our West Nile Virus cases – this was not one of them. The individual was hospitalized but has survived. We’re very happy to hear that.”

Amanda Bakken is West Nile Virus Surveillance Coordinator for HHS….

“Approximately 80% of cases do not result in severe clinical manifestations of the disease. A lot of them go undetected. But when we do have those cases that do require medical care they can become quite severe. So we always try to avoid having those happen as much as we can.”

Bakken says when it comes to protecting yourself she recommends going to the old stand-by…

“Using insect repellant that’s been registered with the EPA, making sure you are applying it at regular intervals and cover skin, particularly, you know, as you are going in and out of the water – as we do like to do with our water sports, or having kids run through a sprinkler. Just make sure you do reapply if you are outside for a prolonged amount of time.”

She says, weather permitting, a person should consider wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially if they are going to be outdoors around sunset or dawn – when mosquitoes are most active.