Iowa is currently experiencing its worst spread of West Nile virus in fifteen years, with several people dying from the disease.

The Des Moines Register reports that late summer mosquitos are causing a massive outbreak that has left 73 Iowans sick and has killed three others. Heavy rains over the summer have resulted in standing water, an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos.

Mosquito season will likely last until at least the beginning of October, so numbers are expected to rise even more.

West Nile causes fevers and brain swelling, but oftentimes you may not realize you've been infected until it's too late.

Although the deaths from the disease all happened to patients in their 80's, everyone needs to be proactive when it comes to protecting themselves from mosquitos. The Des Moines Register recommends wearing a repellent that contains DEET, avoiding outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, and eliminating standing water around your yard to help prevent getting mosquitos from making a home on your property.