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MASON CITY, IA – Last year was the deadliest year for West Nile in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were almost 300 people who died due to the disease.
In Minnesota one person died of the virus, but there were no deaths in Iowa.
But environmental officials say those numbers could always go up.
“It kind of leaves us on high alert to kind of keep our eyes open for something to kind of spur more in the Midwest this next year,” says Brian Hanft, Environmental Health Services.
The worst times of year for West Nile are in the late summer and early fall months.
It’s important to take preventive measures to control the mosquito population. Make sure if you have any containers around your house that can hold water, that they are dumped out every few days. Things like bird baths can be a breeding area for mosquitoes. It’s recommended that you dump your bird bath and fill it with fresh water every 4 days or so.