A University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension educator says the mosquito population is increasing because of recent heavy rains, and that means the West Nile virus risk also is on the rise.
Extension educator Barbara Ogg said Nebraskans need to prevent mosquito breeding while protecting themselves.
State health officials said 47 Nebraskans contracted West Nile virus in 2008, and one person died.
Ogg said because the elderly are at a greater risk of having serious reactions from West Nile, people older than 50 should always wear repellent if they are exposed to mosquitoes.
Symptoms include headaches, neck stiffness, skin rash and disorientation or paralysis. She recommends seeing a doctor as soon as these symptoms appear.