EMMETT - Mosquitoes collected in traps within the Gem County Mosquito Abatement District have tested positive for West Nile virus, officials announced on Tuesday.

The mosquitoes were collected during routine monitoring last Tuesday, and test results were returned on Monday.

"Several samples tested positive for the disease during the week of July 10, 2017," said district director Jason Kinley. "This indicates that there is West Nile virus in some mosquitoes in the area, and follows what neighboring counties have already determined during the 2017 mosquito season."

Kinley said the abatement district will continue its operations to find and treat any standing water that is producing mosquitoes. Fogging operations will also continue throughout the county.

West Nile virus has already been found in Ada and Canyon counties this summer. Officials say the heavy spring runoff and resulting flooding has created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to thrive.

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Kinley warned that people throughout the area should take precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

“We can all take steps to reduce mosquito habitat around our homes and adopt simple practices to minimize the exposure to mosquito bites,” he said.

For more information on West Nile virus and how to protect yourself from it, click here.