West Nile Surveillance Underway in Douglas County
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The Douglas County Health Department has once again received CDC funding to provide surveillance for West Nile Virus.
¬† The department collects mosquitoes in traps every two weeks to assess the types and number of mosquitoes that are active. Mosquitoes are then shipped to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for further processing and to be tested for West Nile Virus. The Health Department also collects dead birds to be tested for the virus. Collection of dead birds will begin on June 11, 2012.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†For a bird to be included in the reporting, it should appear to have died within the last 24 hours and not be decomposed. The public is asked to call the Douglas County Health Department at 402-444-7489 or 402-444-7481 to report this information.
The Health Department also has some advice to help you avoid mosquito bites:
- Apply a mosquito repellant that includes DEET. The CDC also has approved picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. The CDC generally recommends that when using sunscreen and repellant, the sunscreen should be applied first. It is not recommended to use products that combine sunscreen and repellant.
- Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, plus pants, shoes and socks when outdoors.
- Avoid outdoor activity around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Remove standing water or report it to the Health Department for treatment.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The West Nile Virus can be spread to people if they are bitten by mosquitoes that picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird, but only a small percentage of mosquitoes carry the virus.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ÄúIt is impossible to predict how many West Nile cases we will have this year, but, we have been very effective in reducing the threat‚ÄĚ Health Director Dr. Adi Pour said.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†In recent years, the number of West Nile virus cases in Douglas County has ranged from 69 in 2003 to a low of two cases a year later. Last year the county reported ten cases of West Nile virus.