West Nile Virus Positive Test Confirmed in Gage County

BEATRICE – A mosquito pool in Gage County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

That word from Public Health Solutions Health District, which covers five southeast Nebraska counties…Gage, Saline, Jefferson, Thayer and Fillmore.

Surveillance Coordinator Kate Lange says the Gage County positive test is the first one in the district this season.   The virus is typically transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Most people who contract West Nile have no symptoms, but about one in five persons will develop a fever or other symptoms.  Lange says about one in 150 people develop a serious, sometimes fatal illness.

Public Health Solutions this season has confirmed two cases of neuro-invasive West Nile Virus…and one blood donor screened positive for the virus.

Late summer tends to yield more cases of West Nile Virus.  Health officials recommend using insect repellent with DEET, wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when outdoors…and avoid going out at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

Another helpful step is getting rid of areas of standing water around homes and in the community.  Areas of standing water have been more common following recent heavy rains and flooding.

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