Mosquitoes trapped in Adams County Sept. 24 have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the South Heartland District Health Department reported.

“Mosquitoes continue to be a concern in the early fall season,” said Jim Morgan, public health risk coordinator at South Heartland, in a news release. “We all need to continue to take precautions against mosquito bites.”

To date in 2019, 20 clinical cases of West Nile Virus, including one death, have been reported by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. None of those cases have come from the South Heartland district, which encompasses Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties.

In 2018, 251 cases of West Nile, including 12 deaths, were reported statewide.

Michele Bever, SHDHD executive director, said West Nile is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, and that the insects are most active from dusk to dawn.

Applying insect repellant containing DEET anytime people are going outside is the most effective way they can protect themselves against the virus, Bever said.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus usually are mild and include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. However, the symptoms can be more severe and sometimes cause permanent neurological damage or even death.

The South Heartland district recommends that people avoid being outdoors from dusk to dawn and that they protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing lightweight protective clothing and by using an insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535, Oil of Eucalyptus or Picaridin.

Other precautions include frequently draining containers and other standing or stagnant water around homes to disrupt mosquitoes’ breeding cycle.

For more information call SHDHD at 877-238-7595.

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