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The original item was published from 9/16/2019 12:31:38 PM to 10/1/2019 12:00:03 AM.

News Flash

Moab Mosquito Abatement District (MMAD)

Posted on: September 16, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Mosquito District Manager update 8-20-19


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

West Nile Virus (WNV) – Zero positive results last week

  • Results from the six adult samples collected 13 August came back Friday, 16  August; none of the six samples tested positive for WNV.
  • Citizens of Moab – we are not out of the woods with WNV, please do not let your guards down! 
  • That I had zero results last week simply means I did not catch any adults that are infected with WNV; I caught and tested only a very small fraction of the overall vector population that remains in Moab.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that the virus continues “through the fall” – this means, after our first killing frost.  Vector mosquitos are triggered to go into “hibernation” (known as diapause) when day lengths shorten in the fall, however, they can/will still fly and seek blood meals until that first killing frost.

Does WNV really pose a threat to us in Moab?

  • Yes.  The CDC dedicates many webpages to this disease – that alone should tell you how seriously science takes this virus.
  • Why? Because we simply cannot predict when or if, it will explode; this is the nature of viruses.  
  • We (scientists) think we are keeping WNV to a low level in the U.S. such that the mortality rates remain relatively low.  Again, this can change at anytime.
  • Again, why?

1. Viruses mutate easily.

2. This particular virus (WNV) is spread to humans by mosquitoes. Moab sits right up against the edge of the vector-carrying mosquitoes’ preferred habitat.  There is simply no way to kill every mosquito that has the virus, period.

3. The human body does have some natural defenses against viruses, thanks to our immune system, but do not be lulled into thinking this is not a big deal.  It is.

4. There are no vaccines against, or treatment for, the neuro-invasive form of WNV, which can cause death.  The non-neuro-invasive form, which is more typical, may not even cause you to feel sick - or it can cause a temperature and a few other symptoms.

5. The good news is, that if you protect yourselves with an EPA-approved repellant, avoid the wetlands, inspect your window screens, be vigilant in dumping/reporting standing water – we will all likely be just fine. 


  • Trap numbers from the samples collected today will not be available until Friday, and you will get that update next week.  As always, and until we get our own web page, there is always the potential that we will fog, concentrating in the wetlands.



  • Many dead birds – mostly Corvids - have been reported since my update last week. 
  • The birds are the reservoir/hosts for WNV and die because they are are overwhelmed with the viral load. 
  • While there is no evidence that a person can get infected from handling a dead bird, it’s best to avoid handling any dead animal without gloves, an inverted plastic bag, or by using a shovel.
  • Please continue to use the District phone to call in dead birds and to report standing water sources that may contain mosquito larvae. 
  • Thank you.

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