MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – There is good news and bad news surrounding the number of West Nile cases in Minnesota.
The good news is that only 1 percent of the people bitten by mosquitos with West Nile virus will become seriously ill. The bad news is cases are rising rapidly.
“We’re up to 28 cases and we haven’t had this number of cases [at this stage of the summer] since 2007,” said Dave Neitzel of the Minnesota health department.
Neitzel says mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus don’t die with a killer frost like other species; they go dormant for the cold season. And that won’t happen for a while.
“We expect to see cases continuing here as the late summer and early fall rolls on,” added Neitzel.
One of the 28 Minnesota cases so far was fatal, the victim an elderly woman in Stevens County.
Nationwide, more than 41 people have died in 38 states in the largest West Nile outbreak ever seen in the U.S.