Published on July 15, 2019

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Iowa

PELLA, Iowa—With the recent case of West Nile virus in Iowa, Pella Regional is reminding the public that the best way to prevent diseases carried by mosquitoes is to take steps to reduce risk of exposure. 104 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus last year with nine fatalities.

The Iowa Department of Public Health offers tips to help stay protected: 

  • Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.
  • Always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children.
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years of age.
  • DEET should not be used on children less than 2 months of age.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors whenever possible.
  • Eliminate standing water around the home because that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

Symptoms of West Nile virus occur 2-5 days after the mosquito bite and may appear flu-like which include headache, fever, tiredness, and body aches. Sometimes rash develops as well as swollen lymph glands. Call your health care provider if you have high fever with a severe headache, even if you can’t remember getting bit by a mosquito.