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WEBSTER COUNTY MOSQUITOES TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE
The South Heartland District Health Department (SHDHD) reports that mosquitoes trapped in Webster County have tested positive for West Nile Virus. This is the first positive pool to be collected in Nebraska for the 2015 season. Mosquitoes were collected on June 22nd and reported to be positive on June 25, 2015.
“Mosquito trapping allows us to test a sample of the mosquito population. If the sample tests positive, it confirms that the virus is in our region and that we should ramp up our precautions to Fight the Bite,” said Jessica Warner, health surveillance coordinator for SHDHD.
“West Nile Virus is commonly found in some species of Nebraska mosquitos, so the best defense against it is prevention,” said Michele Bever, PhD, executive director of South Heartland District Health Department. Dr. Bever explained that “West Nile Virus is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.” “The best way to fight back,” she said, “is to use an insect repellant containing DEET any time you will be outside.”
Symptoms of the disease can vary from person to person, but can include fever and other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, and or a rash. These symptoms typically last a few days. Approximately one in one hundred and fifty people will develop severe illness. These symptoms can include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, paralysis, and coma. These symptoms may last several weeks; the neurological effects can be permanent and can result in death.
South Heartland District Health Department recommends that people remember and practice the four D’s of West Nile Virus illness prevention:
· Dusk to dawn – Avoid being outside between when mosquitoes are most active
· DEET – Use insect repellent containing DEET
· Dress appropriately – in long pants, socks and long sleeves when you are outdoors
· Drain – frequently drain containers and other standing or stagnant water around your home to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is a preventable illness. “You and your family can reduce your risk of this illness if you consistently use these simple precautions,” said Warner.
Dr. Bever encourages anyone who would like further information, brochures or to schedule a presentation on West Nile Virus to contact South Heartland District Health Department 402-462-6211 or Toll Free at 1-877-238-7595.
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