I'd like to say it's refreshing to talk about a different virus for a change. It isn't. Just typing the words West Nile Virus makes me itchy. Fortunately, this isn't one of those "If COVID-19 wasn't bad enough, here comes West Nile" stories. I couldn't find a single report of a human case of WNV in 2020 for North Dakota. South Dakota reported one last month which is apparently pretty early in the year for cases. Seems South Dakota annually reports disproportionately high numbers. Usually the part where I take a jab at the lesser Dakota, but viruses are serious business.

What got me started on West Nile was a headline from KVRR-TV that said "Mosquitoes in Grand Forks test positive for West Nile Virus".  I got to thinking that the conversation about WNV has seemed to quiet down quite a bit from ten years ago.  Well, a couple of clicks takes you to the North Dakota Department of Health and a whole stack of informative facts.  And, you only need click once right here.

Seems 2007 was our peak year with well over 350 human cases reported.  We recently had another peak in 2018 with a little over 200.  Much like COVID-19, the majority of those affected are asymptomatic.  But there is a 1 in 150 chance that a potentially fatal neurological condition could occur.

What I did also see that where Grand Forks County does currently lead this year in the discovery of instances of the virus, Burleigh County is high up on that list too.

So try to avoid being outdoors at dusk or at dawn, use insect spray with DEET, and for goodness sake, dump out any standing water on your property.