Odds of Zika Virus coming to Idaho are slim to none

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jul 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-31 20:07:01-04

When the temperatures soar, the mosquito season also heats up.

With new reports of Zika in the U.S. this week, you may be wondering about what the odds are of seeing the virus here in Idaho.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alert remains in place for travelers who touch down in areas where the Zika Virus is spreading.

Even then, those who should be most concerned are women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.

Experts say the odds of finding the Zika carrying mosquito in the Gem state are slim to none.

"They're pretty much a sub-tropical mosquito," says Ed Burnett, director of the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District.

While the temperatures are hot enough right now, Burnett says the Zika mosquito prefers humid climates.

Burnett and his team are conducting surveillance on those mosquitoes, nonetheless. They're currently combating the production of West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes of which have been found now in both Ada and Canyon counties.

"We need to learn to live with it [WNV]," Burnett says. "We're going to get it every year here and it's just a matter of keeping that virus in the mosquito population."

Changing out your pets' water frequently, including horse troughs, can help out big time, especially since the West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes have been found recently in small amounts of water. They were even found at the bottom of garbage cans where lids weren't tight.

"They're [WNV carrying mosquitoes] an opportunistic producer," Burnett explains. "They'll pick any place they can with a little bit of standing water that's hot and warm."

The threat of West Nile Virus will remain through the end of August.

We have some 6 On Your Side tips to fight the bite. It's recommended to get rid of any standing water around your house, to not spend too much time outside at dusk or dawn. If you are outside at those times, dress in long sleeves and pants and wear bug spray containing DEET.