Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile in central Nebraska

File - In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist...
File - In this Aug. 26, 2019, file photo, Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District biologist Nadja Reissen examines a mosquito in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)(Rick Bowmer | AP)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Central District Health Department and the Two Rivers Public Health Department announced Wednesday that mosquitoes within their districts have tested positive for West Nile.

The Central District Health Department said the virus was detected in the mosquito population in Hall County on Tuesday, August 24.

While Two Rivers said mosquitoes in Dawson County have tested positive for WNV. They said at this time, there have been no positive human cases in the district.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. In turn, mosquitoes pass the virus to humans.

With the Nebraska State Fair currently underway and many spending more time outdoors, it’s important to know how to avoid West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus deserves consideration as approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of disease. Serious illness can occur in people of any age, however people over age 50 and some immunocompromised persons (i.e. transplant patients) are at the highest risk when infected with WNV. 

Most people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile Virus will not develop any type of illness (an asymptomatic infection), however you cannot know ahead of time if you’ll get sick if you are infected.

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

-When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET.

-Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times, or consider staying indoors during these hours.

-Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

-Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and, on their sides, when they aren’t being used.

If you have a bird bath that has water in it all the time, use mosquito dunks. The ‘dunks’ prevent the mosquito eggs from hatching, and will not affect other animals such as birds or dogs. If you are in need of dunks, please contact the Two Rivers Public Health Department Health Department if you live within the seven-county district at (888) 669-7154 to request some for your home, and visit our website for more information.

For those living in the Central District, you can contact them at (308) 385-5175.

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