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Three Rivers Public Health Department asks community to help monitor for West Nile Virus

West Nile virus symptoms are similar to COVID-19 at first, experts say
Posted at 12:14 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 13:14:38-04

FREMONT, Neb. (KMTV) — As summer heat and swelter return, as it seems to have done so in a big way this week, so do mosquitoes and tracking West Nile Virus activity in the area. To do so, the Three Rivers Public Health Department has begun operations and is asking for your help.

Normally, the department would trap mosquitoes and collect dead birds found in the area for testing purposes. Due to lack of funding, the department won’t be collecting dead birds but is asking residents to report them when found.

The department said, “The birds of greatest interest for reporting are Corvids (American Crow, Black-billed Magpie, Blue Jay). To report a dead bird, residents should contact Three Rivers at 402-727-5396.”

Transmission of the virus occurs when a mosquito feeds on an infected animal. After that, it can be passed on to humans.

To help mitigate your chances of catching the virus, the department said you should practice:

  • Using a repellant that contains DEET
  • 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

Most people who have become infected will have little to no symptoms or a mild flu-like reaction. But things can take a turn for the worse for people over 50 years of age and those who have weakened immune systems.

The department also said that horses may be susceptible to the virus and suggested owners talk to their veterinarians about vaccinating against it.

For more information on the virus, visit https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/West-Nile-Virus.aspx.

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