A man in the Scotts Bluff County Health Department jurisdiction has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS says this is the first human case so far this season, and he says there will be more.
Scotts Bluff County Health Director Paulette Schnell says the man’s symptoms were significant enough that he was tested for the virus, but he did not require hospitalization. The man is between 50 and 70 years old and contracted the disease in Scotts Bluff County since there was no traveling involved.
Schnell says Scotts Bluff County usually has one of the local mosquito pools test positive for the disease before it shows up in a human, but this year it is just the opposite.
She says all the moisture the area received this past spring has produced conditions, especially standing water, where the disease can flourish. She encourages residents to eliminate areas of standing water, try to avoid being outside during dusk or dawn, and use the mosquito repellent with DEET to avoid becoming a victim.
Last year there were 68 human cases in Nebraska and two deaths.