Mosquitoes collected in a trap Monday east of Payette have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to officials with the Payette County’s Mosquito Abatement District.
The mosquitoes were found during routine surveillance within the Little Willow area.
Abatement program officials are now increasing mosquito surveillance in the area, and continuing to locate and treat larvae infested waters. In addition, ground adulticide applications, made via truck-mounted sprayers, will be increased in the Little Willow and surrounding areas, they said.
“The positive sample consisted of a single pool containing ten total Culex tarsalis mosquitoes. The early detection of West Nile virus in mosquitoes is one of the primary reasons for our comprehensive adult mosquito surveillance program,” said Nikki Harris, the program’s co-manager. “Furthermore, it allows us to focus our control efforts in areas determined to be at risk for West Nile virus.”
West Nile virus can be transmitted to humans, horses and other animals by infected mosquitoes after the mosquitoes have bitten infected birds, which are the primary hosts of the virus.
Health officials said most people bitten by West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes experience either no symptoms, or possibly a short period of mild flu-like symptoms. Symptoms of human West Nile virus infections typically begin within 14 days following the insect bite and consist of low-grade fever, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, and headaches. In rare but severe cases, symptoms can include high fever, neck pain, severe headache, a rash on the torso, and disorientation, which may be signs of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). If such symptoms occur, residents should seek immediate medical attention from a physician.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection.