Kootenai County reports first human case of West Nile virus infection

Idaho’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection for 2017 has been confirmed in a Kootenai County resident. The resident, over the age of 50, is recovering from West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

This is the first human case of locally-acquired WNV in northern Idaho since the virus was first detected in Idaho in 2003.

A total of 11 Idaho counties have reported WNV activity in mosquitoes since the end of May. This case is the first person to be reported to be infected this season and the first indication of WNV activity in Kootenai County this season, bringing the total positive number of counties so far this year to 12.

“West Nile activity has ramped up significantly during the last few weeks, so people are strongly encouraged to fight the bite of mosquitoes to protect themselves and their families,” says Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, state public health veterinarian. “This is a good warning for all of us to take protective measures, including wearing insect repellent and reducing mosquito habitat, such as standing water, around our gardens and homes.” Continue reading

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West Nile virus detected in eastern Idaho mosquitoes

WNVLogo2007Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus (WNV) were detected in Bannock County on June 1, 2017, prompting health officials to remind people to take precautions to fight the bite. The positive mosquitoes, which are the first detected in the state this year, were collected by the Bannock County Mosquito Abatement District.

Last year, 10 counties across the state reported finding WNV-positive mosquito pools; nine people and 10 infected horses were reported. Although this first detection in 2017 occurred in eastern Idaho, WNV has been detected in most counties since it was introduced into the state in 2004; the majority of detections have been in central and southwestern Idaho. Continue reading

Wet spring may mean higher mosquito-borne virus risk – Fight the bite!

WNVLogo2007It seems like it’s just starting to warm up and feel like spring, so is it mosquito season already?

Mosquito abatement districts are surveying and treating for mosquitoes earlier than usual this year because spring has been so wet and there has been widespread flooding across Idaho. Now is a good time to go over the precautions you should take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.

Other than an itchy bite mark, what’s the risk of getting bit by a mosquito?

Zika virus has been in the news a lot, but in Idaho and the rest of the United States, we worry the most about mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus. This early in the season, we’ve had no reports of West Nile in mosquitoes, humans or horses. Last season in Idaho, West Nile virus was detected in nine symptomatic people, 10 horses, and a multitude of mosquitoes located across fifteen different counties. Fortunately, there were no deaths. Continue reading

Fight the Bite – For Both Mosquitoes and Bats!

New reports of West Nile virus infections and bats being found with rabies are a good warning for people to watch out for biting critters.

Today, Southwest District Health Department announced three human cases of West Nile virus, two in Canyon County and one in Payette County, bringing the statewide total to 5. Also today, Central District Health issued a warning for people to be aware of an above-average season of rabid bats, documenting 7 rabid bats in Ada County since June. Last year, Ada County reported 2 rabid bats. Continue reading

Elmore County reports first human case of West Nile Virus infection this summer

Idaho’s first 2016 human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection was confirmed in an Elmore County woman in southern Idaho. The woman, in her 30s, is recovering at home from West Nile fever.

Besides the Elmore County human infection, eight other Idaho counties have detected WNV in mosquitoes since June 28th. An infection of a horse from Payette County also was reported this week.

“West Nile activity has ramped up significantly during the last few weeks across southern Idaho, so people are strongly encouraged to fight the bite of mosquitoes to protect themselves and their families,” says Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, state public health veterinarian. “This is a good warning for all of us to take protective measures, including wearing insect repellent and reducing mosquito habitat around our homes.” Continue reading

West Nile virus discovered in Southwest Idaho

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus (WNV) have been detected this week in Canyon and Payette counties, prompting public health officials to remind people to take precautions to fight the bite. The positive mosquitoes are the first detected in the state this year.

“West Nile Virus can cause serious illness so it is very important that people take precautions to avoid bites and mosquito-proof their homes,” says Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, from the Idaho Division of Public Health. “With our recent warm weather we could see an increase in mosquito activity over the holiday, so we urge people to be careful.” Continue reading

Mosquito season has begun! Tips to avoid mosquito bites (and reduce risk of West Nile)

 

mosquitoMosquito abatement districts are surveying and treating for the pesky little blood-suckers earlier than usual because spring has been so mild. So now is a good time to go over the precautions you should take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Zika virus has been in the news a lot lately, but in Idaho and the rest of the United States, we worry the most about mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus. This early in the season, we’ve had no reports of West Nile in mosquitoes, humans or horses. Last season in Idaho, 13 people and four horses were infected in six counties. Fortunately, there were no deaths.

Who needs to be thinking about how to avoid West Nile virus?

Everyone who plans to be outside this summer and fall should be thinking about how to avoid mosquito bites. The virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. We tend to see the most human illnesses from the virus in July and August, but that could change this year since the weather warmed up so quickly. Continue reading