A person in the Three Rivers Health Department area (Dodge, Saunders and Washington Counties) tested positive for West Nile virus according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The person was not hospitalized.


“This is the first human case so far this season and there will be more,” said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS. “West Nile virus can be a mild illness for some but serious for others. It’s important to get into the habit of protecting yourself from mosquito bites now because we’ve got a summer of warm weather and outdoor activities ahead of us.”

West Nile virus is transmitted to people through the bite of a mosquito that picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who are infected will have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms.  Some people will develop a fever with other symptoms like headache, body aches, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. Less than 1 percent of people will develop a serious illness like encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain and surrounding tissues).  People over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to experience serious consequences.

DHHS started its West Nile virus surveillance at the beginning of June. Two mosquito pools have tested positive in Dawson County.

Last year, Nebraska reported 68 WNV cases, including two deaths.