West Nile mosquitoes found in Chase
As if anybody needed another reason to hate mosquitoes, Chase County residents have one: West Nile Virus has come to the county.
Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department has issued a press release warning of the disease’s presence here, two weeks after it was detected in Red Willow County.
Melissa Propp, surveillance nurse at the SWNPHD, said infected bugs were detected during regular trapping.
“We do trapping in the county every other week,” Propp said. “We have six locations within the county that our trappers have trapped. They’re set overnight and then they’re picked up in the morning and shipped to Lincoln.”
Those six trapping locations are by Enders Lake and around Imperial. Propp was uncertain which traps contained virus-carrying mosquitoes. “All we can say is it was in one of our six trapping locations.”
Trapped mosquitoes are divided into “pools” of 50 for testing and there were a couple of infected ones in at least one of the pools.
In the press release, Propp noted there is no cure for West Nile Virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 1 percent of those who are bitten by an infected mosquito will develop a serious illness like encephalitis or meningitis. If that does happen, however, symptoms include fever, vomiting, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. Those with chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease are at greater risk for serious illness.
About 20 percent of infected people will develop a fever and other symptoms, including headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash. Most recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can remain for weeks or months, the CDC says.
Propp said the best preventive measure is to use insect repellent that is at least 30 percent DEET.
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