Lancaster County reports first West Nile Death of the season

(Lancaster County, NE) -- Lancaster County records its first West Nile virus death of the season.

On Friday, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported the death of a man in his 80s due to West Nile virus, the fourth WNV death in Nebraska this year. Ten cases have been reported in Lancaster County since June, with eight requiring hospitalization. Five cases were reported in 2020. Out of those five cases, there was one death. One case was reported in 2019 and 18 cases were reported in 2018. No deaths occurred in either of those years.

The health department reminds residents that mosquitoes are still active until around the first frost and it’s important to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites and help prevent West Nile virus in our communities. LLCHD recommends the following precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active – usually a half hour before sunrise to about one hour after sunrise and a half hour before sunset to about two hours afterwards.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks when outside.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent when spending time outside such as those with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane diol, or 2-undecanone -

LLCHD asks residents to reduce mosquito breeding areas by taking these steps:

  • Dump small wading pools daily and maintain swimming pools properly.
  • Clear debris, weeds and litter from drainage ways.
  • Change water in birdbaths weekly and pet bowls daily.
  • Store tires, buckets and containers where they can’t collect water.
  • Fill low areas in yards.
  • Maintain garden ponds and fountains and always keep water flowing.

It is also important for horse owners to vaccinate their horses against West Nile virus. Questions about horse vaccination should be directed to a veterinarian. For more information about West Nile virus, mosquito control, and standing water or mosquito breeding site complaints, contact the Health Department at 402-441-8002.

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