Panhandle Public Health District has reported its first human case of West Nile virus and the second in Nebraska this year. There’s also been one blood donor who tested positive on the other side of the state.
PPHD spokesman Melissa Haas says West Nile is now endemic in the state with the number of new cases varying greatly every year for several reasons.
West Nile is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.
Most infected people report only mild to moderate flu-like symptoms such as fever and muscle weakness, but it can also result in West Nile encephalitis, which can be fatal.
Haas says the best way to prevent getting West Nile is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Simple tips for that include using repellant and avoiding going out at the times of day when mosquitoes are most active.