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Minnesota Has First 2013 Case of West Nile Virus

ST. PAUL (AP) – State health officials say a Murray County man has Minnesota’s first case of the West Nile virus this year.

The man got sick with West Nile fever earlier this month and is recovering. The Minnesota Department of Health says West Nile virus is a potentially life-threatening disease. Health officials are urging Minnesotans to protect themselves by routinely using mosquito repellents and taking other precautions against mosquito bites.

State epidemiologist David Neitzel says it’s the high risk season for West Nile virus with the species of mosquito that transmits the disease most abundant in July and August.

Experts say residents of western and central counties are at greatest risk because they typically have the greatest number of mosquitoes that carry the virus.

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