Editorial

Rainfall brings good, bad news

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Nebraskans are hesitant to complain about rainfall, but like anything good, too much is a bad thing.

Sudden rainfall made rural travel hazardous in parts of the county, and flash-flood warnings have been common of late.

If you were out Wednesday evening, you may have noticed a City of McCook truck cruising the streets, dispensing pesticides to keep the mosquito population at bay.

Or perhaps you ducked inside when you heard it coming to avoid exposure to the chemicals.

From Gering comes a reminder of the importance of keeping the number of mosquitos down by eliminating standing water on your property and applying DEET mosquito repellent.

The Scotts Bluff County Health Department reported that West Nile virus war reported in a man, between 50 and 70, who spent time outdoors. Although he was diagnosed with the infection, it didnít require hospitalization.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Tom Safranek said there will likely be more virus cases this year. Mosquitoes in Lancaster and Phelps counties have tested positive for the virus so far.

Nebraska recorded 68 human cases of the virus and two deaths last year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, About 1 in 5 people who are infected with WNV will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Less than 1 percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues). These symptoms can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.

People with medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease are also at greater risk for serious illness with the West Nile virus.

The best way to avoid West Nile virus is prevention by applying a repellent containing DEET.

Get rid of standing water and excess vegetation on your property, and if you canít eliminate standing water, mosquito dunks can be used to kill mosquito larvae without harming birds, fish, wildlife and pets.

More information is available from the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, www.swhealth.ne.gov, (308) 345-4223 or at 404 West 10 in McCook, one block north of Arbyís.

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