On August 19, 2015, a mosquito sample from Johnson County returned a positive test result for the West Nile Virus (WNV). A positive test results means that one of the mosquitoes tested from the sample was carrying the West Nile Virus. However, a mosquito may fly up to 15 miles in search of a blood meal and the exact area where the mosquito contracted the virus cannot be determined.
Southern Seven Health Department would like to remind the public that West Nile Virus still presents a public danger especially during this time of year and will continue until the first killing frost. West Nile Virus is transmitted when a mosquito feeds on an infected bird and then feeds on a human host. Only two in ten people infected with West Nile Virus will show symptoms of the disease. Those adults 50 years and older are the ones most likely to exhibit symptoms of the disease.
The most effective way to avoid WNV Disease is to prevent mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellants when you go outdoors. Repellants containing at least 25 percent to 35 percent DEET, the active ingredient in mosquito repellant, should be applied to clothing and especially to bare skin.
- Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk through dawn when many mosquitoes are most active.
- Install or repair screen on windows and doors.
- Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home. Empty standing water from containers such as flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit www.southern7.org.