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West Nile Virus Carrier Loving The Weather

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Taking precautions against mosquito bites is a smart move considering how devastating West Nile Virus can be. Wyoming’s dry weather this year has limited habitat for the usual nuisance variety of mosquitoes, but according to, John Leman, supervisor for mosquito control at the Natrona County Health Department, its a different genus that carries the virus and its thriving thanks to a warm winter and early, mild spring.

“It’s really allowed for an issue with regard to a lot of the Culex mosquitoes which over winter as  adults. So incidents of West Nile may be a little more heightened even if it’s a dryer year.”

Leman says the Culex genus carries the virus over the winter and then loves to lay its eggs in backyard habitat like ponds, water barrels, or even your bath room’s exhaust vent.

He says late summer is the time when virus transmission is most likely to happen.

“The Culex mosquito is more active- it tends to shift its feeding patterns from birds and so forth to humans for what ever reason- from mid-July all the way through August, that’s usually when incidence are highest for transmission.”

When your outdoors health officials advise using bug repellent that includes DEET and wear long sleeves and pants when you can to keep as much skin covered as possible.

Wyoming announced its first recorded case of West Nile Virus this week and, so far, nationwide there have been nearly 700 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), with 26 deaths – the biggest nationwide outbreak since 2004.

 

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