Be Careful – West Nile Mosquito Virus at it’s Peak Right Now
Even though summer is about over, you're not in the clear for mosquitoes and the dreaded West Nile Virus. Here's where it's most affected right now in Minnesota.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, right now is when the highest chance of getting West Nile Virus in Minnesota happens. The infected mosquito is at it's largest population this time of the year, each year.
Here's the MN Department of Health's average West Nile Virus stats, shown by Minnesota county:
The average age of those who contract West Nile are men between the ages of 60 and 65. This is likely due to the fact that more men this age spend more time outdoors. Farmers are more likely than others to get West Nile Virus since the species of mosquito that carry the virus are populated heavier in open agricultural areas, especially those with standing water in saturated fields.
It's important to remember we still need to protect ourselves, even with a little cooler weather than we've seen recently. When outdoors, especially at dusk, cover as much skin as possible with clothing, and be sure to use a repellent to keep insects away from your skin.
If you feel flu-like symptoms (fever or headache) after being bitten by a mosquito, it's important to contact your doctor immediately. Untreated, or sever cases of West Nile Virus can lead to encephalitis or meningitis (brain and spinal cord inflammation).