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'We can expect there will be new cases this year': Douglas County Health Dept. begins West Nile Virus monitoring

Zika virus in mosquitoes found in US for first time
Posted at 10:39 AM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 11:39:05-04

With warmer weather comes the arrival of an annoying and possibly dangerous insect — mosquitos.

The Douglas County Health Department is starting its mosquito monitoring process. More than 100 million people per year worldwide suffer from a mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus.

Read the full press release from the Douglas County Health Department below.

"More than 100 million people per year, around the globe, suffer from a mosquito-borne illness. Early summer is the time of year when mosquitoes make their seasonal return, and some of them may carry the West Nile virus or other diseases.

The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) protects the public by placing mosquito larvicide in potential breeding sites or stagnant waterways to reduce mosquito populations. DCHD also traps mosquitoes every other week, beginning Tuesday, until the end of September to provide an estimate of their populations and gather information on the variety of species living in the area.

Those trapped mosquitos are counted and tested for West Nile virus and other diseases at the Nebraska State Public Health Lab. Several species can carry the virus that causes West Nile disease, and those mosquitoes are most active around dusk and dawn.

“The West Nile virus is established in Douglas County,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse stated. “We can expect there will be new cases this year.” DCHD has a mosquito surveillance site you can use to learn the species and population density of mosquitos in your area. That can be found at https://dogis.org/mosquito_surveillance/ .

This is how to protect yourself from mosquito bites:

• Apply a mosquito repellent that includes DEET. The CDC also has approved picaridin

and oil of lemon eucalyptus.

• When using sunscreen, the CDC recommends you apply it before you apply repellant and

avoid combined products.

• Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts with pants, socks, and shoes help protect you outdoors.

• Limit outdoor activities around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

• Remove standing water or report it to the Health Department for treatment.

Since the West Nile virus arrived in Nebraska, the number of cases in Douglas County has ranged from a record of 71 human cases in 2018 to a low of three cases in 2009 and 2015."

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