• Use insect repellants containing DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow label directions.
Most people who become infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms. About one in five will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with this type of WNV recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
Less than 1 percent of those infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis — inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. People over age 60 are at greatest risk for severe disease, but it can occur at any age.
Also at great risk are those with medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, and those who have received organ transplants. Recovery from severe disease may take several weeks or months, and some of the neurologic effects may be permanent. The death rate for those who develop neurologic infection due to WNV is about 10 percent.
Horse owners should vaccinate their horses against WNV. Questions about vaccination should be directed to a veterinarian.
For more information on WNV, visit lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: wnv). People with questions about WNV, mosquito control, and standing water or mosquito breeding site complaints may also contact LLCHD at 402-441-8002.
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