Several adult mosquitoes, collected earlier this month in St. Charles County, have tested positive for the West Nile virus – the first that have tested positive this year in the county. But county officials say there is no reason for alarm.
“We are increasing treatment protocols for the surrounding areas and targeting known habitat areas to minimize the development of adult mosquitoes,” said Ryan Tilley, director of the county’s division of environmental health and protection, which handle mosquito control in the county. “This will assist in controlling the spread of the virus.”
Residents can reduce the risk of contracting West Nile by using repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors during the the rest of the summer and throughout the fall. Areas where water settles also should be removed or treated and gutters and yards should be kept free of standing water.
This is the first year that the county has used collection sites to analyze the size and types of mosquitoes. Traps were set in various county locations in June and will remain in place through September. The traps are checked and mosquitoes caught are analyzed weekly.
Missouri is among 42 states that have reported the West Nile virus this year. About 80 percent of those infected with the virus do not report symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, nausea or a rash. In extreme cases, especially among adults age 60 or older, the disease can cause brain inflammation, neck stiffness, seizures, coma and death.