Idaho health officials say the West Nile Virus has claimed the life of a Gem County man. The death marks the first West Nile-related fatality of 2013.
There have been 39 confirmed human cases of West Nile infection this year, the majority in Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette and Washington counties.
Twelve Idahoans were infected with West Nile Virus in 2012. In 2006, Idaho led the nation in WNV infections with nearly 1,000 reported cases, which contributed to 23 deaths.
If infected, individuals may experience fever, nausea, headaches, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. Health officials caution the public no to have standing water on property, to apply DEET or EPA-approved insect repellent to exposed skin and clothing and avoid mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
In August, Ada County officials conducted mosquito aerial spary applications over neighborhoods of northwest Ada County to combat an increasing number of mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus. In August, 36 different testing pools at 26 locations around Ada County produced mosquitoes carrying West Nile.