Mosquitoes in Benton County test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitoes in Benton County test positive for West Nile virus

The disease impacts 5 to 10 humans a year.

"We are in the midst of a peak activity for nymphal stages of blacklegged deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis, that are often hard to detect due to their small size and propensity to quickly attach and feed", said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the experiment station. About 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms.

In 2017, California reported 553 human WNV cases, including 44 fatalities. Several hundred cases of babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis have also been diagnosed.

The presence of WNV was confirmed by the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory today in a mosquito sample that was collected June 20 in the town of Weymouth in Norfolk County.

"The recent rainfall and warm weather forecast for this weekend and beyond are expected to increase mosquito activity and build-up of West Nile virus", Andreadis said.

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Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance.

Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from the skin.

Homeowners should drain standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs and fix screens when necessary.

The mosquitoes that are known to carry the West Nile Virus are then sent down to Oregon State University to be tested. "With planning and careful effort, West Nile infection can often be prevented", said Rick Dawson, Senior Manager of Surveillance and Investigation. "We want to knock down the number of invasive mosquitoes that are capable of transmitting serious viruses, including chikungunya, dengue and Zika, as well as reduce the population of local mosquitoes, which can infect people with viruses we see annually in the valley, such as West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis".

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