Jefferson County Health Department officials are saying some mosquitoes in the area have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Virus Found in Adult Mosquitoes
Four collections of adult mosquitoes were tested and showed positive for the virus, according to the health department. Mosquito control will continue through this week in affected areas, but control efforts are targeted to areas with what the department describes as mosquito-borne disease activity.
"Testing of adult mosquitoes is more restricted due to funding limitations," Steve Crawford, mosquito program coordinator for the Jefferson County Health Department, said in a news release. "These limitations may prevent the health department from identifying mosquitoes that may be carrying the virus in some areas."
Avoid Being Bitten, Take these Steps
It is now urging residents to take precautions to prevent being bitten. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CSC) 5,674 cases of West Nile Virus in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC in 2012. The Mosquito Squad has advice on how to control mosquitoes in your yard:
- Tip. Reduce standing water. Check children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; downspouts, plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots: gutters, and flat roofs.
- Toss. Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.
- Turn. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s plastic toys.
- Remove Tarps. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment aren’t taut, they’re holding water.
- Treat. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad’s eliminates up to 90 percent of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.
West Nile and Humans, Report Large Sightings of Mosquitoes
The Health Department will continue to monitor West Nile Virus activity throughout the summer. No cases of West Nile Virus in animals or people in Jefferson County have been reported, Crawford said.
Each year, the Health Department finds mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus. The typical time for this is July through August.
If you need to report a mosquito breeding source, contact the Jefferson County Health Department Environmental Sections Section at (636) 797-3737 ext. 3.