Payette mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

PAYETTE, Idaho - Mosquitoes collected in a trap in Payette have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The mosquitoes were trapped on June 26, within the Jewel Wetlands area north of Payette, by Payette County’s Mosquito Abatement Program.

“The positive sample consisted of a single pool containing 12 total Culex tarsalis mosquitoes,” said Nikki Harris, the program’s manager. “Furthermore, it allows us to focus our control efforts in areas determined to be at risk for West Nile virus.”

The abatement program is now increasing mosquito surveillance in the area -- and continuing to locate and treat larvae infested waters. Ground adulticide applications, made via truck-mounted sprayers, will be increased in the surrounding areas of Jewel Wetlands, officials said.

Residents of the area are urged to take precautions to protect themselves from the West Nile virus -– what experts commonly refer to as “The Four D’s”

-DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes by using a repellent with an effective ingredient. Make sure to follow label directions.
-DRAIN all sources of standing water that may support mosquito-breeding habitats.
-DOOR and window screens should fit tight and be in good repair. This will prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
-DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outdoors, since this is when mosquitoes are most active.
-DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors and mosquitoes are present.

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. 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, experts say.

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