State's first West Nile virus case reported in Yellow Medicine County
An unidentified man from Yellow Medicine County is Minnesota's first confirmed West Nile virus case of the year.
The Minnesota Department of Health said today that the patient was hospitalized in late July with West Nile encephalitis.
State health officials said Minnesota has entered the peak season for West Nile virus, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The risk is highest in August, when the species of mosquito that carries the virus is most abundant.
Health officials are urging people to use mosquito repellent and to minimize outdoor activity during the prime mosquito feeding times of dusk and dawn.
Since 2002, Minnesota has had 455 confirmed cases of West Nile virus and 14 deaths.