West Nile Virus reported in Box Elder County mosquito pools

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FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus, acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute of Sao Paulo University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A Utah man who mysteriously contracted Zika from his infected father may have got it by touching his dad’s tears or sweat with his bare hands, according to new research unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, that found the unusual transmission method was likely caused by his dying father having 100,000 times the normal level of the virus. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

BOX ELDER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – More Utah mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus, prompting safety reminders from health officials.

In early August, the Utah Department of Health reported 114 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile this summer. A mosquito pool is a group of mosquitoes caught and tested from a single trap – it is not related to swimming pools or pools of water.

Four new mosquito pools in Box Elder County have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Each pool was taken from a different trap: one in the northwest corner of Perry, one from the southwest corner of Penrose, another from the Calls Fort Cemetery, and the fourth from a trap on 7600 West in West Corinne. In total, the Box Elder Mosquito Abatement District says the county has seen eight positive mosquito pools from eight different traps. Previously, pools in Thatcher, Brigham City, Willard Bay, and South Willard have tested positive for West Nile.

The Abatement District says the large amount of rain Box Elder county has received means they are expecting a large increase in the mosquito population over the next few weeks. While the group’s main efforts are to control the mosquito larvae population before they emerge as adult mosquitoes, all of the rain has given the larvae population more areas to produce. This means 100% larvae control is not possible, according to the Box Elder Mosquito Abatement District.

The larvae that do become adult mosquitoes will be treated by adult mosquito control, nighttime fogging, which will increase to help control these pests. Still, officials are encouraging the community to take precautions when outdoors:

To reduce your risk of infection, UDOH recommends:

  • Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks while outdoors and use an insect repellent with 20%-30% DEET, which is safe to use during pregnancy. Repellents are not recommended for children younger than two months of age.
  • The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning.
  • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Remove any puddles of water or standing water including in pet dishes, flower pots, wading and swimming pools, buckets, tarps, and tires.
  • Report bodies of stagnant water to your local Mosquito Abatement District (MAD). See a list of MADs here.
  • Keep doors, windows, and screens in good condition and make sure they fit tightly.
  • Consult with an immunization travel clinic before traveling to areas that may have mosquito-borne illness such as Zika or dengue and take the necessary precautions.

If you live in Box Elder County and see an increase in mosquitoes, you can contact the office at 435-723-3700 to have your neighborhood sprayed.

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