West Nile Virus tested positive in two local parks

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)-- The Douglas County Health Department has confirmed that four mosquito pools at two metro locations have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. These are the first positive pools this year.

Cropped Photo: Erik F. Brandsborg / CC BY-SA 2.0

Seymour L. Smith Park and Zorinsky Lake Park were tested positive by the Nebraska Public Health Lab on Friday.

This year’s annual census recorded an unusually high population of mosquitos, according to the Health Department. Last year, Nebraska had the nation’s highest number of reported West Nile cases at 245 people. Until now, no pools had tested positive.

People who become infected with the virus will experience mild flu-like symptoms. The elderly and those with weaker immune symptoms are more vulnerable. One in 150 people will develop a serious illness, according to the Health Department.

The Health Department reminds people to wear bug repellants contain DEET and to rid your outdoor spaces of standing water. The department also recommends avoiding the bug's most active hours, dawn and dusk, and also wearing long sleeves and pants.

According to a Health Department official, this will be a concern until Nebraska’s first hard frost.