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North Dakota sees rise in cases of West Nile virus

"People should be aware of the increase in mosquitoes spreading West Nile virus and take proper precautions to protect themselves from bites,” said epidemiologist Amanda Bakken of the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services.

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BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services has noticed a rise in reported West Nile virus cases in recent weeks and officials are reminding people to continue taking precautions against mosquito bites that can cause the virus.

North Dakota had tallied 11 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases as of Wednesday, Sept. 7, with additional cases pending further results, state officials said.

Of the 11 cases, four resulted in hospitalization and four were neuroinvasive cases.

In addition to human cases, one bird and 19 mosquito pools have also tested positive for West Nile virus.

"People should be aware of the increase in mosquitoes spreading West Nile virus and take proper precautions to protect themselves from bites,” said Amanda Bakken, an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services.

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"Peak WNV activity historically has occurred in late August, but with the late spring, we are not surprised to see an increase in cases continuing into September. This is the time to be vigilant and safeguard against disease," Bakken added.

State officials advised the public to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, including using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing outdoors such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.

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