McCook, Neb. — The first human case of West Nile Virus has been reported in the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department (SWNPHD) nine county health district.
“This is a good reminder for everyone to continue taking preventive measures against mosquito bites,” states Melissa Propp, RN, Surveillance Nurse at SWNPHD. “We are reaching the time of year when West Nile Virus becomes more common.”
Some of the ways that you can prevent getting mosquito bites are:
• Wear insect repellent with DEET. Remember sunscreen first then insect repellent.
• Drain standing water and check and empty gutters for debris like leaves.
• Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
• Dress in long sleeves and pants.
• Repair holes in screens on doors and windows.
• Always read the directions for any insect or sunscreen product to be sure it is being used correctly.
The incubation time for the development of symptoms of West Nile Virus takes about 3-14 days. Approximately 80% of all people who become infected with West Nile Virus will not experience any symptoms. Symptoms people may experience are fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, rash, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, West Nile Virus can invade the brain and spinal cord leading to stiff neck, confusion, paralysis, coma and even death.
There is no treatment for West Nile Virus. The best way to avoid becoming sick is to take preventive action.
More information on West Nile Virus may be found at www.swhealth.ne.gov or by calling the McCook office 308-345-4223. SWNPHD is located at 404 West 10th in McCook or 501 Broadway in Imperial. Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department serves Chase, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Hayes, Hitchcock, Keith, Perkins and Red Willow counties.
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