Mosquitos continue to test positive for West Nile Virus

A member of the Culex tarsalis species of mosquito with a broken leg is photographed. Photo courtesy of Dave Fok/Wikimedia Commons

Two more adult mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing the total over the past month to six that have been trapped and tested, according to Libby Nance, manager of the Moab Mosquito Abatement District.

Nance in an update posted on Tuesday, Aug. 6, said one of the samples that tested positive was collected in the wetlands near the Portal RV Park; the other was trapped on Carlos Court in the Steenville neighborhood.

While no human cases have been reported out of Grand County, Nance said it could be nearly 50 more days – the autumnal equinox on Sept. 23 – before West Nile virus “dissipates from the environment.”

With that in mind, she continues to encourage people to continue wearing protective clothing and using an EPA-approved repellent for the next seven or so weeks, especially between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight and dawn.

Fogging resumed Aug. 6 with the focus remaining on the wetlands. It will continue for the remainder of the week, said Nance, who continues to receive calls about dead birds, especially ravens. The primary hosts of West Nile virus, she said, are birds that belong to the Corvidae family, such as ravens, jays and crows. The transmission cycle, she said, is from bird to mosquito to bird.

She advises people not to handle dead birds, but to use a shovel to bury them if possible.