FREMONT, Neb. (KMTV) — The Three Rivers Public Health Department announced its first confirmed death of the West Nile virus this year.
The virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick but about 20% develop systems such as headache, fever, and joint aches.
“In a very small proportion, less than one percent, the virus affects the nervous system, leading to a more serious illness that can cause neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis, and even death,” the Three Rivers Public Health Department said in a release.
Those over the age of 60 and those with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of more severe infections.
Free mosquito dunks are available to residents of Dodge, Washington, and Saunders counties. Mosquito dunks can be picked up at Three Rivers Public Health Department located at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE 68025. Mosquito wipes have also been distributed to various community locations throughout the Three Rivers jurisdiction
The Three Rivers Public Health Department covers Dodge, Saunders, and Washington counties.
People can reduce their risk of West Nile virus by:
· Using a repellant that contains DEET. The CDC also has approved picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
· Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks.
· Taking extra precautions when going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
· Removing standing water where mosquitoes breed.
· Be cautious outdoors until there are consistently low overnight temperatures, even with sudden changes in weather