West Nile Virus
It is a potentially debilitating disease that is carried by birds. Mosquitoes bite infected birds, which transfers the Virus to the mosquitoes. Humans are infected when they are bitten by female mosquitoes that are carrying the virus.
Symptoms can range from mild fever, headache, body aches, rash and swollen glands to severe high fever, sever headache, stiff neck , muscle weakness and confusion.
Yes! In 2012 there were 176 people who had contracted the virus. Of those, 4 people died.
- Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and at dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outside
- Use an insect repellent with DEET (choose the right repellent for your age)
- Eliminating all sources of standing water (water in tires, buckets, swimming pools) and if this is not possible, utilize a general pesticide appropriate for killing the eggs.
- Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
The NNPHD has been collecting samples of mosquitoes and dead birds and shipping them to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to be tested for WNV since 2006.
If you find a recently (less than 24 hours) dead bird of any species call:
Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department
(serving Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne Counties)
1-800-375-2260 or 402-375-2200
Do not touch the dead bird with bare hands.
To pick up the dead bird:
- Place the bird in a sealed bag using rubber gloves
- Place the bag into another water-tight bag
- Put the bag on ice, away from food, until an employee can pick up the bird.