Three human cases of West Nile virus are reported statewide, but we’re now entering peak season for mosquitoes, which carry the disease. Deb Scholten, who runs the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says they’re watchful for new cases. They’ve been trapping mosquitoes in northeast Nebraska and have found some that are infected in Holt County in addition to dead birds with West Nile in the region.
She says this is the season when human cases will likely start to jump, primarily due to the weather conditions. Scholten urges people to take precautions, including the use of repellant and dump old tires or wading pools that might hold water and provide a breeding ground for the flying pests.
West Nile came to the U-S just a few years ago from Egypt. Scholten says public health officials hope the number of cases will fade in the next few years. She says most diseases of this sort will see people build up an immunity over time, which is what they’re hoping for with West Nile.
Human cases are reported so far this year in York, Merrick and Douglas counties. Last year, 146 cases of West Nile were reported statewide, including three deaths.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton