Health Officials: First West Nile Virus Case Reported in Minnesota

Updated: 08/22/2014 10:15 PM
Created: 08/22/2014 4:01 PM
By: Megan Matthews

Minnesota has its first confirmed case of West Nile virus, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Health officials say a Pope County woman became ill August 2. She had West Nile fever, which is a less severe form of the disease. She was not sick enough to be hospitalized.

Right now is the time where risk of getting the virus increases; however, the risk for West Nile virus appears to be lower this year compared to other years, according to the Dept. of Health.  

"We think that the cooler weather this year really limited the growth of the virus within the mosquitos themselves," Doug Schultz with the Minnesota Dept. of Health said. "So it's not just the number of mosquitos, it's also the amount of virus in each mosquito. That's why we think this year, with the cooler weather, we've had fewer cases, and they'll occur later in the season."

Health officials say additional cases could be confirmed in the coming weeks.

The risk continues until the first frost.

Photo: KSTP/File

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