It may seem strange to be concerned about West Nile Virus when we're entrenched in a bone drying drought, but health officials say we need to prepare for West Nile now.
It has been hot and dry most of the summer, definitely not mosquito weather, but this is the start of the West Nile season and it is present in mosquitoes found in Douglas County. If other outbreaks are any indication, this is an especially strong strain.
Bill Gray still suffers some of the side effects of his bout with the West Nile virus last year. It started with just a general malaise. "I had lost my appetite and had one heck of a headache."
But within a few short hours, Bill was in serious trouble. The next day he didn't go into work at Omaha Rental so his wife decided to check on him. "She got the worst premonition that something was wrong with me so she jumped in the car and came home and at that time she found me flapping around on the bedroom floor."
Bill spent 22 days in the hospital, 11 of those in a coma so he knows how serious West Nile can be.
Right now, Texas cities are experiencing a big increase in the number and severity of West Nile, but there has only been one confirmed case in Douglas County.
"We have had one confirmed case in Douglas County and that report came in on Monday," said Dr. Adi Pour with the Douglas County Health Department. "It is an individual who interestingly enough had a travel history to Texas."
The first West Nile patient in Douglas County was probably bitten by a mosquito when in Texas, but state officials say the next West Nile case could be a mosquito bite away.
There are now 26 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Nebraska. Twenty of those were discovered in a clinical setting, six revealed through blood donor testing.