Nebraska state health officials the first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for the 2023 season in the Three Rivers Public Health District.
West Nile virus is the most preventable mosquito-borne disease in the U.S. Transmission of West Nile Virus occurs through the bite of a mosquito that has acquired the virus by feeding on an infected bird. In turn, the mosquito passes the virus to humans. You cannot get West Nile Virus from a dead bird. The best thing the public can do to protect themselves from West Nile Virus is to avoid mosquitoes.
People can reduce their risk by:
- Using a repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil or IR3535
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when outside
- Taking extra precautions when going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
- Draining standing water around your home. Standing water and warmth breed mosquitoes
- Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted trays at least once a week, if not more often
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight” and repair or replace torn screens
Most people who are infected have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. Less than 1% of people infected with West Nile Virus become severely ill. However, people over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to experience serious consequences.
Last year, Nebraska reported 64 total WNV cases (37 neuroinvasive), including four deaths.
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