Local News

West Nile Virus Risk Still Remains

West Nile Virus cases peak in August and September; consequently there has been a sharp rise in suspect and confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Nebraska in the past two weeks. As of Wednesday there had been 75 positive reports of West Nile Virus among Nebraskans.
Of these, investigations of 26 of the cases are pending. In the Public Health Solutions five county area (Fillmore, Jefferson, Gage, Saline and Thayer) six cases were reported and four cases have been confirmed. The two unconfirmed cases are considered probable. There has been one death.  The death underscores the importance of continuing preventive measures until the first frost.
While you cannot totally avoid exposure to mosquitoes, measures such as wearing long sleeves and pants, using deet, and minimizing outdoor activities at dawn and dusk reduce risk.
While cooler temperatures will signal the end of the surveillance of mosquitoes and birds in the coming week, the presence of mosquitoes will continue albeit at lower levels until the first frost. So, PHS reminds the public to maintain vigilance and avoid mosquito exposure.
The state and local health departments monitor mosquitoes and dead birds to measure the intensity of public risk. There were 163 positive mosquito pools in the state. The first positive pool in the PHS district was at the end of August. The PHS District sample sites are only in Jefferson County.  
If you want more information or have questions please call PHS at 1-888-310-0565.
M. Jane Ford
Health Director

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