EMMETT – Mosquitoes collected in traps during routine surveillance within the Gem County Mosquito Abatement District have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Jason Kinley, Director of the abatement district. Results of the West Nile virus tests on mosquitoes collected on July 20 were confirmed on July 27 by the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories.

“District personnel have identified the sources that produce the kind of mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus. One sample tested positive for the disease during the week of July 20, 2020. This indicates that there is West Nile virus in some mosquitoes in the area, and follows what neighboring counties have already determined during the 2020 mosquito season. The findings do not warrant any substantial deviation from standard operating procedures,” said Kinley. He stated, “Since mosquitoes in the GCMAD jurisdiction have tested positive, it is important that citizens take precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes.”

Following are three steps for people to protect themselves from West Nile virus.

• DRAIN any standing water on your property that may produce mosquitoes.

• DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

• DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes by using an insect repellant.

Kinley said it is important that all members of the district and citizens of Gem County know about West Nile virus and how to protect themselves from the disease. “We can all take steps to reduce mosquito habitat around our homes and adopt simple practices to minimize exposure to mosquito bites,” he added.

Currently, the district is finding and treating any standing water that is producing mosquitoes and making applications to control adult mosquitoes, referred to as fogging. Fogging is taking place routinely, and district-wide fogging applications will continue in all areas of the district. The GCMAD is available to survey and treat any standing water within the district and will answer any questions citizens may have. The district can be contacted by calling (208) 365-5628. 

West Nile virus is a mosquito and bird disease. Animals and humans are incidentally infected when bitten by a female mosquito infected with the virus.

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