West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-transmitted virus that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in some people. This virus usually circulates between mosquitoes and birds in Africa and Europe. However, in 1999, an outbreak of West Nile encephalitis was reported in New York City. Since then, the virus has spread to 48 states and the District of Columbia.
In July 2002, WNV was found in Minnesota. Fortunately, most people who are bitten by infected mosquitoes will experience either no symptoms, or mild illness.
More information on West Nile Virus can be accessed at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/westnile/index.html