OR testing mosquitoes for Zika virus

An aedes aegypti mosquito

No human cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been reported in the county so far this year. But DeBess says the climate is changing, so "we have to expect the unexpected".

The return of West Nile-positive mosquitoes is once again prompting reminders to wear loose, light-colored clothing and to use repellents containing DEET. Last week a Barton County man tested positive for West Nile. When the water warms, they hatch and produce more mosquitoes which continue the cycle. In 2002, the state documented its first human infections, with 52 cases reported that year.

Floodwater mosquitoes, which do not carry West Nile Virus, have also been emerging in recent weeks and are active in daylight hours as well as being attracted to bright lights at night, according to health department officials. This means draining buckets, cans, garbage bins, tire swings, bird baths, dog dishes, child swimming pools, and other objects; anything that can collect and retain water over time.

"A key to preventing mosquitoes and the diseases they spread is to identity and eliminate their water habitat", said John Bitner, Vector Control chief.

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Residents may visit www.FIGHTtheBITE.net to subscribe to mailing lists to receive email notifications for upcoming mosquito treatments by zip code.

Wear "long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing" when outside.

This summer, practice the District D's of Mosquito Prevention: DRAIN standing water that may produce mosquitoes. Always follow the directions on the label.

Make sure all windows and door screens are hole-less.

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