Mosquitoes in county traps test positive for West Nile
Mosquitoes in Chase County have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), according to Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department officials.
This follows confirmed positive mosquitoes found in Red Willow County three weeks ago.
“West Nile virus is transmitted to humans when an infected female mosquito bites them,” said Melissa Propp, RN, Surveillance Nurse at SWNPHD.
“There is no cure for West Nile virus which makes it important to prevent getting bitten,” she said.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 1 percent of people who are infected with WNV will develop a serious illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).
Those symptoms can include fever, vomiting, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis.
About one in five people who are infected with WNV will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with this type of the virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
People with medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease are also at greater risk for serious illness with West Nile virus, the CDC says.
Propp encouraged use of insect repellent which includes at least 30 percent DEET.
“DEET in repellent is the most effective prevention to getting bitten by a mosquito,” she said.
More information on West Nile virus may be found at the web site www.swhealth.ne.gov. Or, questions can be answered by calling the McCook office, 308-345-4223, or Imperial office, 308-882-4269.
Local spraying will continue
Public Works Supt. Pat Davison said the city of Imperial has sprayed for mosquitoes in the city limits about six times this summer.
Plans are to continue to spray, but scheduling those sprayings are weather-dependent, he said.
Public works employees also use larvicides in standing water on city property, and other areas where it’s noticed, he said. That prevents mosquito eggs from hatching.
Messages about the spraying schedule are posted on the city’s Facebook page, he said.