Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile Virus

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department are continuing to track the virus and encourage citizens to take preventive measures.

The California Department of Public Health said Friday that the first four cases of humans contracting West Nile thus far this year have been recorded in four Southern California counties. Reporting birds helps DHHS monitor West Nile virus. The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District staff collected the positive mosquitoes May 25 in Glenview and Morton Grove, according to the release. In 2017, one bird tested positive with the virus. Test results are posted at cookcountypublichealth.org.

The first human case of the virus this season occurred recently in the Chicago area.

West Nile virus is primarily a bird virus that can affect humans and other animals and can be spread by the bite of summer mosquitoes. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.

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Mosquitoes become infected with the West Nile Virus by biting birds that may have contracted the virus, according to CDC. In rare severe case, the symptoms are meningitis, encephalitis or death, according to IDPH.

People over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to experience serious consequences.

Public health officials advise residents to remember the three "Rs" - reduce, repel and report - to combat the virus. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.

Draining any sources of standing water around your house is one way to limit the mosquito population in your yard.

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As the summer continues, the chance for West Nile increases.

To avoid contracting the virus, people should wear long-sleeved shirts, trousers and socks to prevent mosquito bites, use buy repellent, limit time spent outdoors during the dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active and drain standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

The index is updated at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays during the surveillance season.

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