Earlier this month, Box Elder Mosquito Abatement monitors in Willard Bay found a West Nile-positive mosquito.
“A cluster of mosquitos we had collected down in Willard Bay that tested positive for West Nile virus meaning that the virus is in that area," said Randy Sessions, the manager of the Box Elder Mosquito Abetment District.
This cluster of mosquitos is the first West Nile-positive samples in Box Elder county this year.
Mosquito abatement districts throughout Utah sample mosquitos to monitor for a variety of diseases transmitted by mosquitos.
“We start sampling in usually the first part of June and we sample all the way until October and we’re pooling the species of mosquitos that can carry West Nile virus together into different pools or different clusters of mosquitos to be tested and sending those to the state lab. And then they test them for West Nile virus,” Sessions said.
Luckily the mosquito abatement district found a positive mosquito before transmission to humans.
“If we find it in the mosquito populations first, then it gives us a heads up that the virus is in the area, and then we can up our mosquito control program in that area and try and reduce the threat of West Nile virus getting into the human population,” Sessions said.
To minimize your risk of West Nile transmission, take caution when working or recreating outside.
“People that are going to be in that area need to be extra vigilant about protecting themselves against mosquitos bites especially after the sun goes down in the evening ... and try to protect themselves from getting bit,” Sessions said.