MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Health officials say West Nile virus has been reported in Minnesota.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that as of Tuesday there’ve been four confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease in the state this year.
All four cases were discovered after those affected donated blood and it tested positive for the virus when screened.
West Nile virus is the most commonly reported mosquito-borne disease in Minnesota, according to the state’s Department of Health.
Most people with the virus show no symptoms or flu-like symptoms. However, the virus can be serious, and even deadly, for elderly people.
While no Minnesotans have died from the virus in 2018, one person in South Dakota has, the CDC says.
Health officials say the best way to avoid West Nile virus is to defend against mosquito bites.
Last year, there were 30 reported cases of West Nile virus in Minnesota, data from the Health Department shows. In 2016, the number of cases was 83.
Officials say the species of mosquito that primarily carries the virus is common in central and western Minnesota. It prefers to breed in wetlands and drainage ditches.