West Nile Virus still a risk in south-central Nebraska

Even with the summer winding down, West Niles is on the rise again in the South Heartland...
Even with the summer winding down, West Niles is on the rise again in the South Heartland District(wndu)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 11:40 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - West Nile season is not over for many in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Webster counties. The South Heartland District Health Department executive director Michele Bever reported more mosquitoes from the health district testing positive for West Nile Virus.

Three instances of West Nile Virus have been discovered in South Heartland residents so far in 2023 as a result of clinical or blood donor-positive results. Over 69 cases of West Nile have been identified this year through clinical positive results in Nebraska.

Although there is no specific vaccine or treatment for West Nile Virus infection in humans, most people fully recover from the infection. People can expect a fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and swollen lymph glands to come from this infection. However, symptoms may be severe and lead to hospitalization, severe neurological damage, or at times death.

“You can reduce your risk of getting mosquito bites by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially when you are outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active,” Bever said.

Additionally, the health agency advises emptying standing water every few days to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. This includes bird baths, child swimming pools, pet bowls, and flower pots.

“Remember to ‘Fight the Bite’ and prevent West Nile illness,” Bever said.