West Nile virus is detected in mosquitoes in Lancaster County

Mosquitoes in Lancaster County have tested positive for West Nile virus, officials report.

West Nile is an infectious disease that can be fatal. It is spread through mosquito bites and most infected people exhibit no symptoms. Some people experience mild flu-like symptoms.

Last year, there were 68 human cases in Nebraska, including two deaths. There are no human cases so far, officials say, but the season is young.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department is encouraging people to take preventative measures against the virus.

To avoid contracting the virus, people should wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent mosquito bites, use buy repellent, limit time spent outdoors during the dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active and drain standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat the virus, according to the health department.

Infected birds can die from it, and health officials ask that dead birds be reported to the health department for testing.

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