Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2012
 
CONTACT
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9356
leah.bucco-white@nebraska.gov 
 
Mosquitoes and Birds Test Positive for West Nile
 
Note:  Sound bites on this topic will be available shortly at: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx
 
Lincoln – Mosquitoes in Adams and Sheridan counties tested positive for West Nile Virus and so have birds in Madison and Phelps counties according to the Nebraska Health and Human Services (DHHS).
 
“The virus will show up in more parts of the state as summer progresses so it’s important for people to avoid mosquito bites,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS.
  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
  • Dress in long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when you’re outside.
  • Dusk and dawn are times when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities.
  • Drain standing water around your home. Standing water and warmth breeds mosquitoes.

West Nile is transmitted to people through the bite of a mosquito that picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. So far this year, there are no human cases of West Nile Virus.

Most people who are infected by a mosquito have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms.  About one out of 150 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.

West Nile fever includes flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle weakness.  Symptoms of the more serious West Nile encephalitis include inflammation of the brain, disorientation, convulsions and paralysis.

DHHS tests mosquitoes and birds to determine the level of virus in the state. With the assistance of local health departments, DHHS is collecting and testing dead birds.  To report dead birds, contact your local health department.  To find your department, go to http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/wnv_contacts.aspx.

You can find West Nile case updates and more information on the DHHS website at http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/wnv.aspx.

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