As the typical season for West Nile Virus comes to an end, the West Central District Health Department reports two mosquito pools in Lincoln County have tested positive for the virus.
The end of the summer season (August-September) is the most likely time of the year of positive West Nile samples, the health department said.
According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, human WNV infections follow in the wake of positive mosquito pools, with a peak around Labor Day, typically disappearing around mid-September.
Symptoms of West Nile illness are usually mild — fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, skin rash on the trunk of the body, swollen lymph glands and eye pain. However, symptoms may be more severe, sometimes causing permanent neurological damage, and in extreme cases may result in death.
West Central District Health Department recommends that people avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing lightweight protective clothing (including long-sleeved shirts and long pants) and by using an insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535, Oil of Eucalyptus or Picaridin.
Residents are encouraged to frequently drain containers and other standing or stagnant water around their homes to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes.
For the current 2020 WNV season, surveillance began in May and will continue through the end of September.
Weekly WNV reports can be found here: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/West-Nile-Virus.aspx
For more information, visit www.wcdhd.org or call 308-696-1201.
The Center for Disease Control’s West Nile Virus website is https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html