Four cases of West Nile Virus reported in Minnesota

- Four cases of West Nile Virus have been reported here in Minnesota.

This is the time of year when many people want to get outside to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

But officials are hoping to send a reminder to remember to protect yourself from mosquitos that are out there too.

“If I’m running typically they don't bother me too much but if I stop to tie my shoe or something I do notice them a lot,” said Scaletta.

At the Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul, Scaletta hits the trails for an occasional jog, but she often finds herself running from some of the parks peskier residents as well.

"The bug bites are annoying but West Nile would not be a good thing,” she said.

The CDC says the first four cases of West Nile Virus, which is transmitted by mosquito bites, have been reported in Minnesota this season.

The state health department says all the cases are in the western part of the state.

None are in the metro and the highest risk season is from mid-July to mid-September. It’s right on schedule.

“The people being reported to us now probably got exposed a couple of weeks ago. It takes a while for people to go to the doctor and for those lab results to get to us at the health department so everything is happening as expected,” said Scaletta.

The health department says there were 30 West Nile cases last year and 83 the year before.

Most people who get it don't even know it, or have mild symptoms similar to the flu- fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue.

But for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems, West Nile can be deadly.

"It’s never great to get an infection and its always possible it could progress into more severe stages and no one wants to be sick even for a couple of days in the summer time," said Scaletta.

Scaletta's brother in law contracted West Nile a few years ago and she'll do whatever she can to prevent the same thing from happening to her.

"Now that I know West Nile is around I’m probably going to take more steps to try to avoid mosquitos," she said.

The health department says the best way to do that is to use mosquito repellant with DEET, especially if you are outside around dawn and dusk when the insects are the most active.

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