Minn. sees this year's first West Nile virus caseby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Health officials have confirmed Minnesota's first case of West Nile virus this year. The state's Department of Health says a Stevens County woman fell ill with the virus in June and was hospitalized, but is now recovering.
David Neitzel, a state epidemiologist, says Minnesota has had more than 450 cases of the disease since it was first discovered in the state in 2002. Fourteen of those have been fatal.
Neitzel says Minnesota is heading into the peak of the West Nile season, which runs from mid-July through mid-September.
"The mosquito that transmits this virus is active at dusk and dawn, so if you're outside at that time, especially in central and western Minnesota, where the virus is a little bit more commonly seen, it's a good time to wear some mosquito repellant," said Neitzel.
State officials say most people bitten by mosquitoes carrying West Nile show no symptoms, but that about one out of 150 people develop some kind of illness from the virus.