West Nile has Hit Nebraska - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

West Nile has Hit Nebraska

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West Nile has hit Nebraska. It's that time of year where the mosquitoes are out for blood and human cases of West Nile are popping up. 

Health officials at Two Rivers Public Health Department say the number of mosquitoes could really escalate after all of the rain Nebraska has been seeing, and warn that it's better to protect yourself now before it's too late.

"When you're irrigating your constantly getting bit," said Toffie Maloley who says he's had West Nile Virus twice. 

Working outside is unavoidable for some, and when it comes to mosquitoes, they're out and about as well. 

"Honestly as far as any swelling or anything like that, I don't remember anything like that at all," he said. “My blood tested in 2005 and 2006. The second year, they thought I had cancer, but it ended up being West Nile. So I'm very lucky if you call having the West Nile Virus the second time lucky."

Protecting yourself is key: wearing bug repellent, long sleeve clothing, and trying not to be outside whenever mosquitos are most active which is dawn and dusk. 

"If there is any standing water be sure to drain those cause that's one of the best ways to keep the mosquito population down is to drain water around your home," said Heather Easton, environmental/wellness coordinator for Two Rivers Public Health Department. 

If you do have standing water that you cannot drain, Easton says you can use Mosquito Dunks to kill the larvae before mosquitoes are old enough to bite. 

"The mosquito that we are primarily concerned with in Nebraska is a tarsalis and that's the one most likely to carry the West Nile Virus and we have lots of those in Nebraska,” Easton adds.

Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and carbon dioxide so when people are out being active, they need to be sure to apply plenty of mosquito spray. Health experts advise people who start to feel ill with headaches and persistent fever to see a doctor. 


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