Iowa reports 1st West Nile death of 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say Iowa’s first reported 2018 death associated with the West Nile virus has occurred.

The Iowa Public Health Department said in a news release Friday that the victim was 81 or older and lived in central Iowa. Another infected man age 61 to 80 who lives in Palo Alto County has recovered from the illness.

The department says 12 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus last year and two died.

Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild, flu-like symptoms. The most vulnerable people are those who are at least 50 or have weakened immune systems.

The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes, which acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.

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