The Iowa Department of Public Health announced today that it has received the first reported case of neuroinvasive West Nile Virus this season. The case was confirmed by the State Hygienic Laboratory and is an adult (18 to 40 years old) from Polk County.
About 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and vomiting. Less than one percent of people infected become seriously ill and rarely, someone dies.
In addition, IDPH has received its first ever report of Heartland virus. The individual is an older adult (61 to 80 years old) in Appanoose County. Heartland virus is a Phlebovirus that is thought to be transmitted by the Lone Star tick and was first discovered in 2009 in Missouri. Since then, cases have expanded across the Midwestern and southern United States. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, anorexia, nausea and diarrhea and treatment is supportive care.
“These reports are an important reminder that as Iowans take advantage of outdoor activities, they should take precautions to prevent tick and mosquito bites,” said IDPH Deputy State Epidemiologist and Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Ann Garvey.
The best way to prevent tick and mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile and Heartland viruses is to:
For more information about West Nile virus, visit https://www.idph.iowa.gov/cade/vectorborne-illness.
For more information about Heartland virus, visit