A five-county public health district in southeast Nebraska has reported its first human case of West Nile virus this season.
Kim Plouzek of Public Health Solutions Emergency and Environmental Programs, said the first human case in the district discovered Sunday, comes earlier, than usual. The season usually peaks in August or September.
P-H-S would not disclose which county the case came from. The district serves Saline, Gage, Thayer, Jefferson and Fillmore counties.
The case reported in the district was the second human case of the virus reported in Nebraska, this year. Plouzek described the P-H-S case as “moderate….not severe”.
The health district also conducts surveillance for infected pools of mosquitoes or birds. There have been no infected pools of mosquitoes detected, this year.
Plouzek says the district found out about the human case through a physician visit by a person who was not feeling well.
West Nile virus symptoms vary from person to person. Fewer than 1 in 100 persons develop severe illness marked by a high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, convulsions, muscle weakness or paralysis.
Plouzek says persons should take precautions such as eliminating standing water and outside exposure to mosquitoes at dawn and dusk. It’s recommended persons use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice