21 West Nile cases in Minnesota, well below ’12 pace

Published 9:20 am Monday, August 26, 2013

ST. CLOUD — 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 said the county with the most cases this year is Stearns County in central Minnesota, with three.

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

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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 said it’s too early to know the degree to which the late spring and cool periods this summer slowed the virus’ spread.