3 West Nile Cases Confirmed in South Central Nebraska


Two Rivers Public Health Department in Holdrege has confirmed three people have contracted a severe form of West Nile virus within the past ten days.

Even though summer has less than three weeks left, mosquitoes are still a common nuisance in the area. With evening football games, hunting season, and other outdoor activities just now getting under way, it can be easy to forget the dangers of West Nile. Officials urge people to protect themselves

Marsha Carlson with Two Rivers Public Health says most people who get West Nile won't know they've contracted the virus and won't show symptoms. The severe form, however, can have dangerous symptoms that include high fever, severe headaches, and even potential paralysis.

In 2013, Two Rivers reported 33 cases, including ten severe cases. Two Rivers serves Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Phelps, Gosper, Harlan, and Kearney counties, a total of about 95,000 people.

Using bug spray that includes DEET can repel mosquitoes. Officials also urge getting rid of standing water around your property. Standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Limiting outdoor time around dawn and dusk can also help, because those are the times when mosquitoes are most active.