West Nile-Nebraska,127 Eastern Nebraska health officials seek to control mosquitoes

Mosquito feeding on a human host, Photo Date: January 23, 2016 / Cropped Photo: Day Donaldson / CC BY 2.0 / (MGN)
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Health officials in eastern Nebraska are taking steps to control mosquito populations that carry West Nile and other diseases as a wet spring has led to more breeding grounds for the biting insects.

The Douglas County Health Department says it's using mosquito larvicide in potential breeding sites or stagnant waterways to help curb the spread of West Nile virus. The department is also trapping mosquitoes every other week. Trapped mosquitoes are counted and tested for Zika, West Nile virus and Chikungunya at the Nebraska state public health lab.

The department also has begun collecting dead birds -- including crows, black-billed magpies, and blue jays -- to test them for West Nile virus.

Nebraska reported a nation-high 245 West Nile cases in humans last year, including 11 deaths.

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