State sees first West Nile virus death and first case of swine fluMinnesota News
-- An elderly patient from Stevens County is Minnesota's first West Nile virus death of the season.
An elderly patient from Stevens County is Minnesota's first West Nile virus death of the season.
State health officials say the man became ill and died in early August. Epidemiologist Dave Neitzel says the risk for West Nile continues through September, and advises people to use mosquito repellent if they go outside at dusk and dawn. Neitzel says mosquito feeding has gone down over the past few days because of cooler weather -- but it will warm up again. The state Health Department has confirmed 30 human cases of West Nile infection this summer, the most since 2007.
Meanwhile, state health officials say Minnesota has its first case and a second probable case of a new influenza strain, H3N2, which people acquire through contact with pigs. The two cases were reported in a preschooler and an older sibling after the family visited a live animal market in Dakota County on August 10th. Officials say neither child required hospitalization and both are recovering.
The Health Department says there's no reason to discourage people from visiting the Minnesota State Fair -- but they advise fairgoers and exhibitors not to eat, drink or put anything in their mouths while in animal exhibit areas -- and be sure to wash hands thoroughly.