A mosquito trapped in Clark County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
The mosquito was trapped by the Clark County health department in late May and test results confirming the presence of West Nile Virus were relayed to the department this past weekend.
Larry Shaffer has been the county’s Director of Environmental Health since 2013. He says the area where the mosquito was trapped has both wooded natural habitat as well as residential backyards with lots of places where mosquitoes can breed: bird baths, tires, tarps, clogged gutters, kids toys — any place with standing water.
Shaffer says the Health District will be misting with a mosquito adulticide throughout Clark County this week but, “People should know that's the least effective mosquito control. The most effective mosquito control is to get rid of the water because mosquitoes reproduce so quickly. When we kill the ones that are flying in the air, there's literally hundreds of thousands of eggs that are waiting to hatch.”
Shaffer says his crew will be going door-to-door in the Park Layne area where the infected mosquito was trapped in the coming weeks to let folks know that virus has been found in the area, and to remind people to take precautions like using EPA certified bug spray, planning outdoor activities for during the day, and, most importantly, to get rid of standing water on their properties. The Health District has sent an alert to the local medical community to facilitate quicker human diagnosis of West Nile Virus. CDC data from past years may be viewed on the interactive map here.
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.