Three Rivers Health confirms first West Nile death

west nile
west nile(NBC Nebraska)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Three Rivers Health Department (3RPHD) has announced Monday that the first death of West Nile Virus has been confirmed within the health district.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The first confirmed case of WNV was identified on Friday, Sept. 10.

People can reduce their risk by:

  • Using a repellant that contains DEET. The CDC also has approved picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks.
  • Taking extra precautions when going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Removing standing water where mosquitoes breed.
  • Being cautious outdoors until there are consistently low overnight temperatures, even with sudden changes in weather

Most people exposed to the virus don’t get sick, but about 20 percent develop symptoms like headaches, fevers, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. In a very small proportion, less than one percent, the virus affects the nervous system, leading to a more serious illness that can cause neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and even death.

Those who are over 60 years old, have underlying medical conditions or depressed immune systems are at higher risk of more severe infections of WNV.

Free mosquito dunks are available to residents of Dodge, Washington, and Saunders County. Mosquito dunks can be picked up at Three Rivers Public Health Department located at 2400 N. Lincoln Ave, Fremont, NE 68025. Mosquito wipes have also been distributed to various community locations throughout the Three Rivers jurisdiction.

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