Tuesday, July 9, 2024 - 12:00 pm

North Dakota Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus disease this season. The individual lives in Morton County and was hospitalized. There is risk of contracting West Nile virus anytime mosquitoes are active, so it is important to know how to avoid mosquito bites.

HHS recommends North Dakotans take these precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellent registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that contain ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, PMD, 2-undecanone and permethrin (clothing only). Always follow the directions on the manufacturer’s label for safe and effective use.
  • Wear protective clothing outdoors such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
  • Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes that can carry WNV are most likely to bite.
  • Eliminate still water in containers around homes where mosquitoes can lay their eggs (gutters, buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools and birdbaths).
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of residences.
  • Maintain a well-trimmed yard and landscape around homes.

Most people infected with West Nile virus experience no symptoms. Those who develop symptoms will commonly report fever, headache, body/joint aches or rash. People who develop severe illness may experience stiff neck, altered mental status, paralysis, coma and possibly death. People over 60, or those who have underlying health issues are at greater risk for developing West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.hhs.nd.gov/wnv.