The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has made this summer’s first positive identification of West Nile virus. According to the IDPH, a mosquito sample was collected from northwest Iowa’s Woodbury County at the end of May and tested at Iowa’s State Hygienic Laboratory. Last year, 88 of the 1,453 mosquito samples returned positive for the infection. In 2017, twelve human cases of West Nile and two virus-related deaths were reported in the state. The IDPH recommends Iowans follow a few simple steps to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus. Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or other similar when spending time outside. Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active and cover your skin with clothing whenever possible. To help curb mosquito populations, remove standing water from around your home, as this is where they lay their eggs. For more information on West Nile virus, follow the link included below.