The North Dakota Department of Health announced the state’s first West Nile virus-related death in 2014, according to West Nile Virus Surveillance Coordinator Alicia Lepp. The individual was a woman who was hospitalized and was older than 60 years of age.
Today’s report brings the total number of cases in North Dakota this season to 12.
“This unfortunate death is a reminder of the seriousness of West Nile virus, especially to those older than 50,” said Lepp. “North Dakotans should continue to take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites to prevent West Nile virus.”
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes that may carry West Nile virus, the state health department recommends the following protective measures:
- Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR 3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or permethrin when outdoors. Always follow the directions on the manufacturer’s label.
- Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most likely to bite.
- When possible, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts while outside.
- Eliminate stagnant water and leaf debris in containers around homes where mosquitoes can lay their eggs (e.g., buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools and birdbaths).
- Keep mosquitoes from entering your home by repairing screens in windows and doors.
- Keep the grass around your home trimmed.
To date, North Dakota has reported human WNV cases in the following counties: Barnes (1), Burleigh (2), Emmons (1), Hettinger (1), Logan (1), Morton (3), Mountrail (1), Richland (2).