BEAR LAKE COUNTY, Ida. (ABC4) – The first-ever West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pool has been confirmed in Bear Lake County near the Idaho-Utah border.
According to Southeastern Idaho Public Health officials, this is the first West Nile Virus-positive pool this year for the eight counties they cover.
The pool was found in the south end of Bear Lake County on the west side of Bear Lake.
SIPH explains West Nile Virus is a potentially serious illness usually spread to animals and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
While most people infected with West Nile do not show symptoms, more severe illness can occur.
Symptoms can include fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, eye pain, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash occurring two to fourteen days after being bit. More severe infections may involve the central nervous system.
To reduce the risk for West Nile, SIPH says these precautions should be taken:
- When outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET or Picaridin. Additionally, certain products which contain permethrin are recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear. Follow the directions on the package.
- Wear long sleeves, pants, and loose-fitting clothing at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and feeding. If possible, consider staying indoors during these hours.
- Make sure to have good screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by draining standing water from flowerpots, buckets, and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths and feeding troughs, at least twice a week. Drill holes in tire swings or old tires so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty or on their sides when not in use.
- Don’t over-irrigate your lawns, gardens, or pastures.
In August, the Salt Lake County Health Department detected multiple West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pools within the county.
As of June 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports human infections have been confirmed in Arizona, but no other western states. For more on the West Nile Virus, visit the CDC.