DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services announced the first confirmed case of West Nile virus infection in the state on Friday.

A middle-aged adult from Buena Vista County tested positive for the virus, the HHS said.

Humans can get infected with West Nile virus through a mosquito bite. HHS said there are several steps that people can take to prevent contracting the virus, like utilizing insect repellant.

With Labor Day activities beginning this weekend, Iowans will most likely be outside. HHS reminds all Iowans to take the following steps to reduce their risk of exposure.

  • Use insect repellent.
  • Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks outdoors whenever possible.
  • Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty any water from buckets, cans, pool covers. Change bird bath water every three to four days.

In 2021, six Iowans were diagnosed with the virus. No deaths were reported.