Health Officials remind residents to eliminate standing water on their property.
The virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that had been feeding on an infected bird. In extreme cases West Nile infection can be fatal to people. Symptoms include fever, headache, body and joint aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. It can cause severe illness in people and horses, although only about 20 percent of those infected will develop any symptoms at all. Symptoms of the more serious West Nile encephalitis include inflammation of the brain, disorientation, convulsions and paralysis.
EEE and West Nile virus, like other viral diseases affecting a horse's neurological system, must be reported to the state veterinarian at 609-671-6400 within 48 hours of diagnosis. These individuals are urged to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes during mosquito season, which extends from June 1 through November 1. To date, Nebraska has reported 79 cases with 42 of the cases being neuroinvasive.
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"School has started, Halloween is just around the corner and some people are even thinking about the holidays, but mosquitoes are still thriving and biting", Department of Public Health Deputy Epidemiologist Ann Garvey said in a prepared statement. Key prevention tips include using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.
This is the third case of West Nile reported in DE horses in 2018.
Locally, the health unit's surveillance program has shown that West Nile virus activity remains within local and historical norms.