West Nile Returns|Douglas County Confirms Case

West Nile Resources:

For more information about West Nile Virus, visit the CDC's Website.

Health officials have confirmed Douglas County's first 2013 case of West Nile Virus. The victim is identified only as a man over the age of 75 who apparently contracted the virus in another part of the state.

He had reportedly traveled to an area where mosquito pools have tested positive this year for the virus and it's believed he may have been exposed on that trip. So far this year, no mosquitoes in Douglas County have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

“This is about the time of year when we usually hear of our first West Nile case,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said. “West Nile virus is here, and everyone should follow the recommendations for protecting yourself from mosquito bites.”

The West Nile virus infects people who are bitten by mosquitoes that have been feeding on an infected bird.

To help avoid mosquito bites:

  • Apply a mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Be sure to follow label instructions.
  • Minimize your activities outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, plus pants, shoes and socks when you are outdoors.
  • Remove standing water from near your home or report it to the Douglas County Health Department. That includes water in buckets, pet dishes and bird baths.

Dr. Pour stressed that early rains and the recent hot, dry conditions have had little effect on the mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus because they breed in permanent bodies of water.

Most people who are infected by a mosquito have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. Fewer than one of 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito and get ill will have a serious illness. People more than 50-years-old and others with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to suffer serious consequences.

“The West Nile season will stay with us until the first hard frost,” Dr. Pour said

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