West Nile Virus Spreads To 7 Idaho Counties
West Nile virus has now been reported in seven Idaho counties. The mosquito-borne virus has shown up in Adams, Ada, Bingham, Boundary, Canyon, Gem and Payette counties.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says all instances of the virus have been discovered in mosquito pools, no human cases of the disease have been reported.
Last year, West Nile was found in 16 Idaho counties. Forty people were infected with the virus and two Idahoans died. One of the worst West Nile years on record was 2006 when nearly 1,000 Idahoans were infected and 23 people died.
The virus is transmitted to animals and people by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile is especially dangerous for people over the age of 50 or those with underlying medical conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control says one of the best ways to limit exposure to West Nile virus is to avoid being outside at dawn and dusk. If you are outside, use mosquito repellant and wear long sleeves and pants.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter at @samwrightradio
Copyright 2014 Boise State Pubic Radio