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Canyon County mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

The infected mosquitoes were collected in a trap northeast of Caldwell.
Credit: Associated Press
In this 2012 file photo, mosquitos are sorted at the Dallas County mosquito lab in Dallas. Infectious diseases that used to be unknown in Oklahoma are now a threat to the health of its residents as maladies such as the West Nile virus.......

BOISE, Idaho — Mosquitoes collected in Canyon County have tested positive for West Nile Virus, the mosquito abatement district announced Wednesday. 

The infected mosquitoes were caught in a gravid trap on Tuesday northeast of Caldwell. The trap uses alfalfa and yeast infused water, attracting female mosquitoes looking for a place to lay their eggs. Because those mosquitoes are more likely to have recently ingested blood, they are more likely to test positive for West Nile than insects caught in other types of traps.

So far this season, the county has tested 374 pools for West Nile-infected mosquitoes. 

"Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not become sick. Some may develop mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally swollen lymph glands or rash," said Jaime Aanensen, Environmental and Community Health Services Division Administrator for Southwest District Health. "Individuals with severe or unusual headaches should seek medical care as soon as possible."

RELATED: Boise man says he was diagnosed with West Nile virus

The area where the positive mosquitoes were collected has been treated to kill both mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes. Residents are also encouraged to protect themselves by getting rid of standing water on their property, avoiding outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long sleeves and pants while in mosquito-infested area

"With the increased risk of West Nile virus we encourage people to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites," Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District Director Jim Lunders said.

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