Western Nebraska dept. begins West Nile testing

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SCOTTSLBUFF, Neb. (AP) _ A western Nebraska health department has begun testing for the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. According to reports, the Scotts Bluff County Health Department began collecting mosquitoes on June 1 and is accepting dead birds for testing for the virus. The neighboring city of Gering will begin spraying for mosquitoes on Tuesday.

West Nile is transmitted to people through mosquitoes that feed on an infected bird. Most infected people have no symptoms or only mild flu-like symptoms. A small percentage develops a serious illness.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website says that last year, there were 229 human cases of West Nile _ including five deaths.

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