A pool of mosquitoes trapped in York County has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the Four Corners District to date. West Nile is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
“People should take care to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, no matter what part of the state they live in,” Laura McDougall, Executive Director says. “It only takes one bite to infect you.”
To avoid mosquito bites, Four Corners Health Department recommends the following:
- Applying mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, Para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone;
- Wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants and socks;
- Avoiding going out at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active;
- Eliminating standing water around your property to reduce mosquito breeding sites; and
- Repairing damaged screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) tests mosquitoes from many locations across Nebraska. This determines the level of virus in the state. So far, this season has been quite active all across Nebraska for WNV positive mosquitos. Because of the high numbers of WNV positive mosquitos across the state, there have been multiple cases reported throughout Nebraska.
Most people who are infected by a mosquito have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. Less than one out of 150 people who get bitten by an infected mosquito and become infected will get seriously ill. However, people over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease. These people are more likely to experience serious illness.
West Nile fever includes flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, swollen lymph glands, and muscle weakness. Symptoms of the more serious West Nile encephalitis include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, occasional convulsions, and even paralysis.
More information about West Nile Virus and risk reduction can be found at https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Mosquito-Borne-Disease-Prevention.aspx.
For vector-borne disease data and statistics, please visit: https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/West-Nile-Virus-Data.aspx.
You can contact Four Corners Health Department at (402) 362-2621 or (877) 337-3573. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Facebook at Four Corners Health Department or on Twitter and Instagram @FC_HealthDept!