West Nile Virus

LM Otero / AP Images

The struggle to save the embattled greater sage grouse — while keeping the ground-dwelling bird off the Endangered Species List — has been going on for decades. Its population has plummeted from millions of birds to less than 500,000 in recent years.

Key to the fight is identifying and attacking what’s killing the bird, a challenge complicated by the fact that the threats vary depending on the state.

mosquito, bug, West Nile
Enrique Dans / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s first human case of West Nile virus this year has been confirmed in Kootenai County.

Two women in Idaho have been infected with the mosquito-borne illness West Nile virus, marking the first confirmed human cases within days of each other in Idaho this year.

One woman is in her 60s from Washington County, but did not require hospitalization

However, the second woman —who is in her 40s from Payette County— was hospitalized after reporting symptoms beginning in early July. She is still recovering.

Macroscopic Solutions / Flickr

Idaho has its first human case of West Nile Virus for 2015. A woman in her 60’s who lives in Washington County got sick in late June.

Raemi Nolevanko is an epidemiologist for Southwest District Health. She says the woman had mild symptoms and did not go to the hospital.

“She was experiencing some pretty decent fatigue and then she mentioned fever, chills and some headache that she was having issues with,” says Nolevanko.

The woman is recovering.

Nolevanko says this first human case is right on schedule, based on last year's timeline.

Ada County Weed, Pest and Mosquito Abatement

Thursday night’s chemical bombardment of mosquitoes from a low-flying plane in Ada County went well before being interrupted by a storm. Weather permitting, the process will continue Friday night.

Brian Wilbur, Director of the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District, says the contracted plane sprayed parts of Star and Eagle around 10 p.m. Thursday. That gave the Dibrom Concentrate, which is a short-lived chemical, time to work before the rain moved in.

Ada County Weed, Pest and Mosquito Abatement

Later this week, Ada County will take to the skies to spray for mosquitoes.  The spraying will occur Thursday after 8 p.m. over east Boise, and in Eagle and Star.

Mosquitoes in Canyon and Gem Counties have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and Ada County mosquito abatement officials say it’s only a matter of time before the potentially deadly disease reaches the state’s most populous county.

Alberto Garcia / Flickr

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.

Map by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

The number of West Nile virus cases in Idaho have gone up this month in humans and mosquitoes.  
 

Human cases of West Nile were reported in four counties recently, Blaine, Lincoln, Payette, and Washington.  

bannokcountymosquito.com

Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare has confirmed the state’s first human case of West Nile virus of 2014. A Blaine County woman in her 20s is recovering from a virus-induced fever. Eight other Idaho counties have found West Nile in mosquitoes this summer, but the Blaine County case is the first confirmed human infection.

Last year, 40 known people in Idaho contracted West Nile and two died. A 2006 outbreak saw nearly 1,000 cases and 23 deaths in Idaho.

mosquito, bug, West Nile
Enrique Dans / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Ben Rauch / Flickr

West Nile virus is in Ada County. A mosquito trap near Star, Idaho tested positive for West Nile this week. It the first instance of the disease in Ada County this year.

bald eagle
PenWaggener / Flickr Creative Commons

State wildlife officials say West Nile Virus appears to the mystery illness that's caused more than two dozen bald eagles to die in Utah this month.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says results of laboratory tests on some of the first birds found indicate they died from West Nile.

Officials say 27 bald eagles have died since Dec. 1, and six others are being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation center.

DWR says in a statement that it believes the eagles ate grebes that were infected with the virus.

Mosquito
Gamma Man / Flickr Creative Commons

A southwestern Idaho woman has become the eighth person statewide this year to be diagnosed with West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne illness that can cause health problems.

The woman is from Ada County, but the Central District Health Department says she was likely infected to the north, in Valley County, where she spends her weekends.

Concerns about the outbreak this year have escalated.

Ada County Weed and Pest Control conducted aerial spraying for mosquitoes last week.

jon.hayes / Flickr

West Nile cases are on the rise in Idaho.  The state now has eight human cases of West Nile and five additional reports of the mosquito-borne illness are under investigation. 

Niki Forbing-Orr with Idaho’s Health and Welfare Department says the state is doing better than other states, like Texas. “So far the CDC is reporting 888 human cases there.  All 48 states of the mainland United States have reported west nile activity and nationally 87 people have died," she says.  "We’ve not had any deaths in Idaho yet, so we’re crossing our fingers that we don’t.”

Dave Fotsch / Central District Health Department

A woman from Twin Falls has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. It’s the first confirmed case in Idaho this year.

Dave Fotsch of the Central District Health Department says mosquitoes tested positive in Ada, Canyon, and Payette counties. According to the Ada County Weed, Pest, and Mosquito Abatement website, the virus has also been found in west Boise.

Fotsch says West Nile’s peak year came in 2006, with almost one-thousand confirmed cases and 23 deaths. Since then, Fotsch says it’s tapered off, with only three cases last year.