A Scotts Bluff County resident between the ages of 0 – 13 has tested positive for West Nile fever.
The Scotts Bluff County Community Health nurses received notice of the positive test results earlier this week and are completing the follow-up investigation. This is the first confirmed WNV human case in the county this season.
Scotts Bluff County continues to have mosquitoes testing positive for WNV from all six of the collection sites across the entire county. With Labor Day approaching and the start of fall outdoor sports, officials encourage you to be careful to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes. Late August and September, are the peak months for transmission of WNV in our area and the risk will continue until the first killing frost eliminates the mosquitoes.
To prevent your being exposed to West Nile Virus from mosquito bites, the following safety measures should be followed:
• Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, when you are outside and mosquitos are present.
• Dress in long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when you’re outside.
• Limit outdoor activities during the peak periods of mosquito activity, usually one hour before and after sundown and one hour before and after sunrise.
• Keep all screens in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to people through the bite of a mosquito that picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who are infected have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle weakness. Symptoms of more serious West Nile Virus infection can include inflammation of the brain, disorientation, convulsions, paralysis and even death.
Only a small percentage of people infected with West Nile Virus become severely ill. However, young children, older adults and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to experience serious consequences.
The Scotts Bluff County Health Department will continue to collect mosquitoes at the 6 locations across the county and they will be tested for WNV every other week.