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Officials Confirm West Nile Virus in Minn. Mosquitoes

Updated: 07/03/2014 9:35 PM
Created: 07/03/2014 8:39 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart

West Nile virus is back in Minnesota.

A sample of mosquitoes collected by the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) in Scott County has tested positive for the virus this week.

So far this summer there have been no human cases of the virus reported in Minnesota, and dead birds tested by MMCD have also turned up negative.

“We expect West Nile virus to show up in mosquito samples and birds at this time of year, and while people aren’t necessarily at greater risk yet, we all should take common sense precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” said Kirk Johnson, MMCD vector ecologist.

Officials expect the wet conditions, followed by hot weather will give a boost to mosquito species that spread the disease within the bird population.

MMCD tracks citizens’ reports of dead birds throughout the metro area. They say tracking these reports gives MMCD another tool in the effort to reduce risk of West Nile virus in the metro area.

Report a dead bird here.

Here’s how you can help reduce your risk for West Nile virus:

  • Check yards and neighborhoods for water-holding containers and recycle or dump them out (it can take less than a week for mosquitoes to develop in standing water)
  • Make sure window screens are in good repair
  • Wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing
  • Use mosquito repellent (be sure to follow label directions
  • Whenever possible, avoid prolonged outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Photo: Wikipedia.com

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