West Nile Virus Continues To Spread In Canyon County

Jul 6, 2015

More mosquitoes, carrying the potentially deadly West Nile Virus, have popped up in traps in Canyon County. Two weeks ago, the disease was found between Parma and Notus. Now, mosquitoes at the Roswell Marsh near Parma have tested positive.

Ed Burnett, with the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District, says they found hundreds of Tule mosquitoes in a trap on the marsh. Tules – which carry the virus – are rare for this area. Burnett says they’ve multiplied because of recent hot weather.

“Because of all the heat, and the sustained 100 degree temperatures that we’ve had, [the number] of those particular species are on the increase,” says Burnett.

He says that could mean some significant West Nile activity in the future.

“When you have a population increase of a disease carrier, then the chances of an actual transmission to people becomes greater.”

The Canyon County district will spray bacterial larvicide by plane over the marsh to try to slow the spread of the bugs. Farmland nearby will also be treated over the next few nights.

But Burnett cautions the virus is part of our landscape now and the best defense is insect repellent and covering up outdoors to avoid being bit by an infected mosquito.

“It’s in the environment; it’s going to be here. We just need to take the necessary precautions when we go out in those areas in the evening and early morning hours. Protect yourself, be aware.”

West Nile has also been found this year in mosquitoes in Gem County.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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