Moab Mosquito Abatement District Manager Libby Nance is warning residents to drain or dump standing water on their property due to the presence in Grand County of a new invasive mosquito known as Aedes aegypti, or the “yellow fever mosquito,” which can carry the Zika virus and yellow and dengue fever.
Two more Grand County residents were recently diagnosed with West Nile virus, according to Brittney Garff, the public information officer for the Southeast Utah Health Department.
The Moab Mosquito Abatement District said a Moab woman in her 50s has contracted the less severe form of West Nile virus. Manager Libby Nance in an email said the woman, who lives south of town, was diagnosed at a clinic in Moab, which was confirmed by the Utah Department of Health.
Following a report from The Times-Independent on Aug. 8 regarding tests on local mosquitoes that showed positive for West Nile virus, Moab Mosquito Abatement District Manager Libby Nance said that she would sue The T-I over what she said was “false” reporting that, she said, “defamed” her.
This week, the 33rd of the year, historically has the highest rate of reports for West Nile fever around the U.S. While the disease is typically reported throughout the summer, August tends to have the highest incidence of reports, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
One sample of mosquito larvae out of seven that were collected Aug. 6 and tested for West Nile Virus has tested positive for the virus. That sample was believed to be from a vacant house on MiVida Drive.
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.
A second positive test for West Nile virus was detected in another species of mosquito, compelling the Moab Mosquito Abatement District to resume chemical fogging Tuesday evening.
Moab Mosquito Abatement District Director Libby Nance has some encouraging news regarding mosquitoes and West Nile virus.
The Grand County Council approved expending more than $80,000 in unfunded emergency revenue to address one of the worst mosquito seasons in recent memory when members met Tuesday, July 16.
Officials had predicted that it was only a matter of time. Mosquitoes trapped locally and tested at the Utah Public Health Lab on July 11 returned positive for West Nile virus after they were collected July 2 at the Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve, according to Grand County Clerk-Auditor Chris Baird.
A public confused over who oversees the Moab Mosquito Abatement District – is it the city or the county? – can be forgiven. They are not alone.