Four Corners District Has Its First Human Case of West Nile Virus for 2017

The Four Corners Health District (Butler, Polk, Seward and York Counties) has had its first reported human case of West Nile Virus this year. This case was found in a blood donor as part of the routine screening process done by blood collection agencies.

West Nile virus is spread through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. In turn, the mosquito can pass the virus to humans.

“As we head into the summer months, we want everyone to take steps to protect ourselves from mosquito bites,” says Laura McDougall, Executive Director of the Four Corners Health Department. To fight the bite:

  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535;
  • Remove mosquito breeding sites, such as standing water in garbage cans, gutters, ditches, wading pools, tires, flowerpots, or similar water-holding containers. Change water in bird baths on a regular basis.
  • Add larvicides (in the form of pellets or donuts to kill mosquito larvae) which can be purchased at most hardware, farm or gardening centers, to animal drinking troughs, water gardens, ornamental fountains, ditches and ponds.
  • Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.
  • Ensure that window and door screens are in good repair.

Four Corners traps mosquito pools to be tested for West Nile and takes reports of all species of dead birds. Blue Jays and Crows will be collected and tested for West Nile virus, and must be in good condition, with no signs of deterioration.

If you have questions about West Nile virus, call the Four Corners Health Department at 362-2621 or toll free (877) 337-3573.