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Iowa is experiencing a high number of West Nile virus cases this year and three Iowans have died from it.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health so far there have been 73 cases of West Nile virus under investigation this season, the second highest since it was identified in the state in 2002. At 147 cases, 2003 was the highest year. West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and IDPH advises the virus activity will continue until Iowa has its first hard frost of the season. Approximately one in five people infected will develop a fever or other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash. To prevent getting West Nile virus whether you’re at a barbecue or a football game wear insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Also, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks when you’re outdoors when possible. Another thing you can do to prevent West Nile virus is to eliminate standing water in things like buckets, pool covers, cans, and pet water dishes, because that is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.