North Dakota reports first West Nile Virus related death this year,16 cases in total

The North Dakota Department of Health today announced the state’s first West Nile virus-related death in 2013, according to West Nile Virus Program manager Michelle Feist.

Posted August 30, 2013

The individual was a woman who resided in the southeastern region of North Dakota and was older than 60 years of age. The woman did not have any underlying health conditions.

Today’s report brings the total number of cases in North Dakota this season to 16, including one death.

“This unfortunate death is a reminder of the seriousness of West Nile virus, especially to those older than 50 and those with other medical conditions,” Feist said. “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.

The following is a summary of West Nile virus activity to date:


Human cases – 16

Counties: Barnes (1), Burleigh (1), Cass (3), Grand Forks (2), Grant (1), McIntosh (1), Morton (1), Richland (4), Stark (1), Stutsman (1)

Human deaths – 1

WNV-positive dead birds – 3

Counties: Cass (1), Grand Forks (2)

WNV-positive mosquito pools – 13

Counties: Cass (7), Grand Forks (6)


“This is the time of year we typically see the majority of our West Nile virus cases,” said Alicia Lepp, West Nile surveillance coordinator.

“West Nile virus is active throughout the entire state, so regardless of the county you live in, it is important for all residents of North Dakota to take precautions against mosquito bites.”

For more information about West Nile virus, visit or contact Alicia Lepp or Michelle Feist, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2378.

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