Minn. West Nile Cases Well Below 2012 Pace

Posted at: 08/25/2013 12:58 PM | Updated at: 08/25/2013 1:00 PM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — State officials have confirmed 21 cases of West Nile virus so far this year, well below the 103 cases confirmed last year.

A Minneapolis Star Tribune report on Saturday says the county with the most cases this year is Stearns County in central Minnesota, with three.

The Minnesota Department of Health says one person in western Minnesota farm country has died from the disease.

Only one case has been detected in northeastern Minnesota so far this year.  The virus was found in blood from an Itasca County donor.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people through mosquitoes that feed on an infected bird. Most people with the virus have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. A small percentage develops a serious illness.

Health Department epidemiologist David Neitzel says it's too early to know the degree to which the late spring and cool periods this summer slowed the virus' spread.

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Information from: Star Tribune

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