West Nile Virus confirmed in Central District

Learn how you can prevent the infection of the virus
West Nile Virus, mosquito

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KLKN) – West Nile Virus was been detected in the mosquito population in Hall County on Tuesday, August 24.

The virus is transmitted by mosquito bites when a contaminated mosquito picks up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The Central District Health Department released a statement explaining that while viral activity has been low throughout the State this year, they are urging people to take precautions.

Mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk as well as around still standing bodies of water. As the Nebraska State Fair is currently underway and more people are spending time outdoors, it’s important to know how to avoid West Nile Virus.

Approximately 1 in 150 people infected with the virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. While the illness can affect all ages, people over the age of 50 and those who are immunocompromised are at the highest risk when infected with West Nile Virus. While 4 out of 5 individuals will not develop any type of illness or symptoms, there is no way to know if you will become sick once contaminated.

The easiest and best way to avoid the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

-While outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET. Follow the directions on the package.

-Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times, or consider staying indoors during these hours.

-Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

-Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, buckets, and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in birdbaths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and, on their sides, when they aren’t being used.

For more information about the virus, you can contact the Central District Health Department at (308) 385-5175.

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