West Nile Virus mosquito pool found in Bingham County

Southeastern Idaho Public Health officials have confirmed a positive West Nile Virus mosquito pool in Bingham County.

According to a news release, other positive West Nile Virus mosquito pools have been reported in Ada, Boundary, Canyon, Gem and Payette counties. Details surrounding the Bingham County discovery were not available Saturday. But no human West Nile Virus cases have been reported.

“West Nile is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread to animals and humans through the bite of an infected mosquito,” the release said.

Symptoms include fever, headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, eye pain and, sometimes, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. More severe infections may involve the central nervous system.

While symptoms typically occur two to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, most people infected with the virus do not show symptoms, the release said.

To reduce the risk of exposure and infection, public health officials recommend the following precautions:

• When outdoors use an insect repellent containing an EPA registered active ingredient such as DEET or Picaridin and apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Parents are advised not to apply repellent that contains more than 10 percent DEET on their children. Certain products containing permethrin are recommended for use on camping gear, bed nets, shoes and clothing.

• Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves, pants and loose-fitting clothing at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, or consider staying indoors during those times.

• Make sure to have good screens on windows and doors that will keep mosquitoes out.

• Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by draining standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths and feeding troughs at least twice a week. Drill holes in tire swings or old tires so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty or on their sides when not in use.

• Don’t over-irrigate lawns, gardens or pastures.

For more about West Nile Virus, visit www.siphidaho.org or http://westnile.idaho.gov.