Mosquito pool in Lincoln County test positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquito(Katja Schulz / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Aug. 23, 2023 at 1:27 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2023 at 1:46 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - A mosquito pool in Lincoln County tested positive for the West Nile Virus, the West Central District Health Department announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes following the first West Nile virus death for the 2023 season that was confirmed this week in the Panhandle.

The Health Department is advising residents to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites during the end of the summer season. August to September is around the time of year that positive West Nile samples are collected and reported, WCDHD said.

According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, human WNV infections follow in the wake of positive mosquito pools, with a peak around Labor Day and disappearing around mid-September.

Surveillance began in May and will continue through the end of September for the current 2023 WNV season.

For the current WNV season, the jurisdiction of West Central District Health Department, has had one positive WNV mosquito pool (week ending August 12) and one lab confirmed human case of West Nile Virus (week ending August 26).

The West Central District Health Department recommends that people avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing lightweight protective clothing (including long-sleeved shirts and long pants) and by using an insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535, Oil of Eucalyptus or Picaridin. The Health Department provides free DEET and Non-DEET wipes for residents.

Residents are also encouraged to frequently drain containers and other standing or stagnant water around their homes to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes.

Weekly WNV reports can be found by visiting the DHHS WNV Surveillance Data webpage.