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Adult Mosquitoes Found in US' Hillsboro Test Positive for West Nile Virus

A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito on a human finger. The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is proven to be a vector associated with transmission of the West Nile Virus.  (Image: Reuters)

A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito on a human finger. The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is proven to be a vector associated with transmission of the West Nile Virus. (Image: Reuters)

Health Department's emergency response supervisor Juddy Tufts said it is unusual to be this far into the summer with no other mosquitoes testing positive for the virus.

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Diseases like dengue, chikungunya, malaria, zika virus, Yellow fever, West Nile Virus among others are spread due to infected mosquitoes. Recently, adult mosquitoes found in Hillsboro have tested positive for West Nile Virus - the first positive test in Jefferson Country this season, according to the Jefferson County Health Department.

Health Department's emergency response supervisor Juddy Tufts said it is unusual to be this far into the summer with no other mosquitoes testing positive for the virus.

"There just have not been West Nile positives this year like we normally have," Tufts said, adding that the Health Department had prepped up for a bad season due to all the spring flooding.

According to a Leader Publication report, Emergency response vector technician Scott Darrough said he, too, thought there would be a lot of positive tests.

He added he, however, expects to see more positive tests coming. "September is when it tends to really show its head," Darrough added.

Health Department's emergency response supervisor Juddy Tufts said the season commences once temperatures rise above 70 degrees and stay there. She said the season normally starts around late May and early June and goes to early October.

“We still have a good 30 days to go that I consider the mosquito season,” she added.

The mosquito that tested positive for the West Nile Virus was found in a surveillance trap the Health Department set up, Tufts said.

She added that there are 100 sites across the county with surveillance traps.

Darrough asked the residents to continue their bit of maintaining steps to avoid on self from being bitten by mosquitoes, or at least, keep the surroundings clean and not letting mosquitoes breed in the vicinity.

Some of the precautions include using mosquito repellent containing 20-50 percent DEET or Picaridin, wearing light-colored clothing and removing stagnant water sources that can be breeding ground for mosquitoes, such as old tires, cans, buckets, flower pots or pools.

Most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito, there are no vaccines to prevent or medication to treat the West Nile Virus.

Most people infected with West Nile Virus do not develop any symptoms. According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 of 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
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