Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says they recently found West Nile in mosquitoes trapped in Wayne and Dixon counties.
She says positive results aren’t usually discovered in those areas as the types of mosquitoes that often carry the virus are normally found in places where there’s more irrigation-style agriculture.
Scholten says while infection rates have dropped, there are still people getting hit by West Nile in Nebraska.
She says 11 human cases have been reported statewide this year and seven of those people had to be hospitalized. Five of the seven people also developed encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain which can be very serious.
While mosquito activity is decreasing with the cooler weather, Scholten says the flying pests will still be around for a few weeks, at least.
Use a repellant that contains the chemical DEET, avoid the outdoors around dusk and dawn, wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, and empty out standing water where the bugs breed.
The mosquitoes, and West Nile virus, will remain a threat until there’s a hard freeze.
Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton