The first human case of West Nile Virus in Douglas County for 2018 has been confirmed. A woman over 50 years of age was hospitalized and has been released.
In addition to the human case, high populations of mosquitoes and multiple pools of infected mosquitoes have been found at a monitoring site between downtown Omaha and Eppley Airfield. Late summer and early fall are typically when West Nile virus cases begin to increase.
“That means everyone in the community should follow the recommendations for protecting yourself from mosquito bites,” Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour says.
To protect yourself from mosquito bites you can:
- Apply a mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Be sure to follow label instructions.
- Minimize your activities outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, plus pants, shoes and socks when you are outdoors.
- Remove all standing water near your home.
- Empty buckets and pet dishes daily and bird baths on a weekly basis.
- Clear weeds and anything else that may obstruct water from draining properly.
- Follow proper swimming pool maintenance procedures and keep water moving in ponds or fountains.
Most people who are infected by a mosquito have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. Less than one in 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito will have a serious illness. People more than 50 years old and others with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to suffer serious consequences.
“The West Nile virus will be a concern until the first hard frost,” Dr. Pour says. “Please take steps to protect yourself and those around you.”