Panhandle health officials say mosquitoes in Scotts Bluff County have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, which is similar to West Nile Virus in symptoms and transmission.
Scotts Bluff County Health Director Paulette Schnell tells KNEB News while St. Louis encephalitis is common in Nebraska, it’s unusual that Scotts Bluff is the first county in the state to report positive results for the disease. “It is something we see every year in our testing for mosquitoes,” says Schnell. “We do not see very many human cases, it’s rare to see that, so that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, with West Nile, we do see more than our share in Scotts Bluff County because of the higher irrigation and standing water we may have around.”
Schnell says the steps to combat the disease are the same as West Nile, and recommends you use repellents with DEET, wear long-sleeved shirts, get rid of standing water and take extra precautions during dawn and dusk.