West Nile virus detected in Teton mosquitos

JACKSON (WNE) — The Teton County Weed and Pest District detected West Nile virus in mosquitoes — the first such detection in 2022 — during routine surveillance on Friday.

West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The endemic disease shows up each year as mosquito populations bloom across Wyoming. But an early July detection is sooner than usual, Teton County Weed and Pest said.

“We’re not seeing it on a wide scale, yet, we’re just kind of seeing a little blip,” said Weed and Pest entomologist Mikenna Smith.

The Wyoming Health Department shared tips earlier this year on how to avoid bug encounters that can lead to serious disease. The “5 Ds” of mosquito-bite prevention are:

1) DAWN and 2) DUSK — Mosquitoes prefer to feed at dawn or dusk, so avoid going outside during these times.

3) DRESS — Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt outdoors. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials.

4) DRAIN — Mosquitoes breed in shallow, stagnant water. Reduce the amount of standing water by draining or removing it. Empty pet water bowls, kiddie pools and troughs, for example.

5) DEET — Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Picaridin (KBR 3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus also can be effective.

Human cases of West Nile virus are rare and typically mild. West Nile virus numbers for humans have been relatively low the last few years in Wyoming, the Health Department said Friday.

Most people infected with the virus don’t have symptoms. Among those who become ill, symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes.

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