First West Nile Virus related death is recorded for the year

Sep 17, 2018

The first West Nile Virus related death of the year has been reported to the North Dakota Department of Health.

Jenny Galbraith is an epidemiologist with the health department. She says the patient was a man over the age of 60 who lived in northwestern North Dakota. Galbraith says it may be late in the season, but until there is a hard frost there is still potential to contract West Nile Virus from mosquitoes.

"I know as the season progresses, it's kind of a hassle to remember that there are mosquitoes out there, and you kind of don't think about them. But mosquitoes are around until the first hard frost of the year, so it is important that even though you don't see mosquitoes around you that you're still protecting yourself from them."

Galbraith says insect repellents containing DEET are the most effective at keeping mosquitoes away. She also says it helps to wear long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors during the dusk and dawn hours, and to remove standing water on your property. There were two West Nile Virus related deaths in North Dakota last summer. There have been 148 cases reported from 28 counties so far this year.