Aug 13, 2019 12:16 AM

Scotts Bluff Co. mosquitoes the first in the state to test positive for St. Louis encephalitis

Posted Aug 13, 2019 12:16 AM

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By Deb Conklin

Scotts Bluff County Health Department, Administrative Assistant

Mosquitoes trapped at a site in Scotts Bluff County have recently tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis.

This is the first confirmed positive in mosquitoes in the state this year. 

While St. Louis encephalitis is endemic to Nebraska, outbreaks are rare and occur only periodically. St. Louis is similar to West Nile in symptoms and transmission. The virus is found in birds which can then be contracted by mosquitoes and passed on to humans.

Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation, vomiting, and tiredness. Most people will not display symptoms, such as with West Nile. Severe symptoms such as encephalitis, convulsions, and paralysis are rare and are most likely to occur in older adults or individuals with compromised immune systems. There is no specific treatment for St. Louis encephalitis. Symptoms can start to develop in an individual 5 to 15 days after being bitten by a mosquito with the infection. Individuals who feel they might have symptoms of either St. Louis or West Nile should seek medical help immediately. Reducing your risk of contracting either virus can be done with proper prevention techniques such as:

  • Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
  • Take extra precautions when going outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are active.
  • Get rid of standing water. 

To request more information regarding St. Louis encephalitis or West Nile virus, please contact Paulette Schnell, Scotts Bluff County Health Director at 308-436-6636 or Panhandle Public Health District at 308-487-3600.

Continue Reading Panhandle Post
Aug 13, 2019 12:16 AM
Unclear when irrigation tunnel will be fixed after collapse

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — It's still not clear when an irrigation tunnel that collapsed last month will resume handling water, so more than 100,000 acres of farmland in Nebraska and Wyoming remains dry.

Officials have been working to repair the tunnel since it collapsed, but it won't be clear until at least later this week whether it can be repaired soon enough to help this year's crops at all.

Rick Preston with the Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation District said Monday workers are still removing dirt and shoring up the tunnel.

If the tunnel collapse is confined to the roof, it may be repairable this year. If the walls also collapsed, repairs will take longer.

The 14-foot-wide tunnel that collapsed July 17 is part of a system that delivers water in eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska.