Extreme heat causes early arrival of West Nile Virus

Local News

 Box Elder County (News4Utah) –  Mosquitos in Box Elder County tested positive for West Nile Virus, the Box Elder Mosquito Abatement District announced Monday.

The sample came from Willard Bay, North Marina.

“I will definitely be wearing the bug spray for the rest of the season,” Stacey Truax of Willard said. 

This is the first positive pool in Box Elder County this year. The state lab also confirmed mosquitos in Duchesne and Davis County are carrying the virus. 

“Just having it show up early is kind of a concern,” Randy Sessions, the director of Box Elder Abatement, said.

Officials are announcing this to make the county aware that West Nile virus season has started. Our weather pattern has not helped when it comes to the insects. Extreme heat is a contributor to the season starting two weeks early. 

“The virus itself shows up earlier in the year because of the heat that we had. The hotter it is, the virus circles between the birds and the mosquitos earlier,” Randy Sessions, the director of Box Elder Abatement, said.

Drought conditions also have little effect on West Nile virus-carrying mosquitos. Flood mosquito numbers are down, but that’s not the case for the species that carries the virus.

“Even though the marshes are dry, the mosquito takes advantage of any water that’s out there. There’ numbers have not really decreased,” Randy Sessions, the director of Box Elder Abatement, said.

Mosquitos actually taste you before they bite, they have taste buds on the bottom of their legs and are looking for a certain type of blood chemistry. With the 24th of July coming up, please take proper precautions if you are outside after dusk. Be sure to wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Mosquito Repellent with DEET or Picaridin is also a great way to avoid mosquito bites.

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