West Nile Virus confirmed in Douglas County, health officials say

The Douglas County Health Department confirmed five cases of West Nile Virus in the Omaha metro.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 3:01 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Douglas County Health Department warned against two pools of mosquitoes that have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

There have been five confirmed cases of West Nile infection in Douglas County, four men and one woman, all between the ages of 40 and 75. Two of them required hospitalization.

“This is not unexpected as Nebraska has seen an unusually large number of positive mosquito pools in the rest of the state,” Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said in a press release. “This new development is a good reason for everyone in Douglas County to protect yourself from mosquito bites.”

Mosquitoes contract the virus by feeding on infected birds, and then the disease can be transferred to humans via a mosquito bite.

The Douglas County Health Department recommends the following to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Use a mosquito repellant with 30 percent DEET
  • Wear light-colored, loose, long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks outdoors
  • Avoid outdoor activity around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
  • Remove standing water near your home or has DCHD to treat it

DCHD also reminds the public that most people who contract West Nile never show symptoms. Around 1-in-5 people infected will develop symptoms, but will likely recover fully.

Only around 0.5 percent of people infected with West Nile develop a severe illness.