LINCOLN–(News Release Sept. 9)–The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department today reports that mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Lancaster County, which can indicate increased circulation of the virus in the community.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The Health Department reminds residents that mosquitoes are still active until around the first frost and it’s important to remain vigilant and continue to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Take the following steps 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 – https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents
One human case has been reported in Lancaster County in 2022. A total of 10 cases were reported in 2021, including one death. Five cases were reported in 2020, including one death.
Residents can also take actions to reduce mosquito breeding areas:
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 in yard low spots.
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 vaccination should be directed to a veterinarian.
For more information about West Nile virus, mosquito control, and standing water or to make a mosquito breeding site complaint, contact the Health Department at 402-441-8002.