DHHS reports first West Nile Virus case of 2023 detected in eastern Nebraska

The virus is transmitted through infected mosquitoes and can make people very ill.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:09 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:07 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) - The first human case of West Nile virus for the 2023 season has been found in the Three Rivers Public Health District, which includes Dodge, Saunders and Washington Counties. The person who tested positive was not hospitalized according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

The virus is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito that has been feeding off a dead infected bird. Then the mosquito passes the virus to a person. The virus can’t be transmitted from dead bird to human and the best recommendation to prevent from getting the West Nile Virus is staying away from mosquitos.

Symptoms from the virus are similar to the flu but some people may not feel sick at all. People over the age of 50 or have compromised immune systems are more at risk for this virus and are more likely to face severe health problems.

Here are a few ways to prevent from getting the West Nile Virus:

  • Using a repellant that contains DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil or IR3535
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when outside
  • Be aware that mosquitos are more active at dusk and dawn
  • Draining standing water around your home
  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days
  • Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted trays at least once a week, if not more often
  • Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight” and repair or replace torn screens

For more information, call Three Rivers District Health Department at (402) 727-5396 or visit www.threeriverspublichealth.org.