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Douglas County confirms first case of West Nile virus for 2017

Photo courtesy: MGN Online

Douglas County has its first confirmed case of West Nile virus for 2017.

The health department says the woman infected is less than 40 years old. She was not hospitalized for the infection and is recovering.

“With confirmation that West Nile virus is in the community, everyone needs to follow the recommendations for protecting yourself from mosquito bites,” Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said.

To protect yourself from mosquito bites, you can:

  • Apply a mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Be sure to follow label instructions.
  • Minimize your activities outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, plus pants, shoes and socks when you are outdoors.

To prevent mosquitoes from increasing where you live:

  • Remove all standing water near your home,
  • Empty buckets and pet dishes daily and bird baths on a weekly basis.
  • Clear weeds and anything else that may obstruct water from draining properly.
  • Follow proper swimming pool maintenance procedures and keep water moving in ponds or fountains.

The number of mosquitoes trapped by the Douglas County Health Department has been low this year, but late summer and early fall are typically the times when cases involving the West Nile virus generally begin to increase.

Most people who are infected by a mosquito have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. Fewer than one of 150 people who are bitten by an infected mosquito and get ill will have a serious illness. People more than 50 years old and others with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to the disease and are more likely to suffer serious consequences.

“The West Nile season is with us until the first hard frost,” Pour said. “Now is the time to fight the bite.”

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