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West Nile Virus (WNV) – One New Positive WNV Sample
Results from the seven adult samples collected 6 August came back Friday, 9 August. Of the seven samples submitted to the Utah Public Health Lab, only one sample containing Culex tarsalis tested positive for WNV though samples from both vector species were tested.
We have now had seven confirmed and positive WNV samples detected over a five week period.
For the second week in a row, the positive sample was collected on Carlos Court in the Steenville neighborhood.
This flummoxed us at first – that the positive sample was from the same neighborhood, two weeks in a row – when none of the wetlands samples tested positive. The wetlands/Matheson preserve are where we would expect to find WNV-positive adults.
Thanks to the diligence and hard work of field crew men – Shanon Amsberry and David Camunez - they found an untreated water source a few blocks away from Carlos Court on Mi Vida drive. This water source is from an unoccupied house. The source contained both larvae and pupae, which they treated, and we think, but are not positive, that this is the potential source for the WNV-positive adults collected in the Steenville neighborhood.
We trapped again yesterday, 12 August on both Carlos Court and Mi Vida and will have those results for you in next weeks’ update.
IMPORTANT: Moab citizens – if there is an unoccupied home, an abandonded home, a vacation home, etc. - next door to you or near you, PLEASE take a moment to investigate if there is standing water on the property, call us to report this and we will come take care of it.
If you suspect a stagnant water source but are afraid to tresspass – again, please call us and we will investigate – Utah law gives us the authority to come on to private property without notice, for just this reason.
Typical water sources to look for that grow mosquito larvae will be kiddie pools, ornamental ponds, old swimming pools, wheelbarrows, uncovered boats, landscape planters, broken fountains, five gallon buckets, etc., typically in the shade, where the water does not evaporate quickly.
The water source containers will likely not be smaller in size due to our hot, arid climate and lack of recent rain. However, if unoccupied homes have automatic sprinklers with smaller containers nearby – they could be potential sources.
Also, please know that the District keeps a list of ornamental ponds, fish ponds and large stagnant water sources that we treat every year with a residual briquette that targets mosquito larvae. Most citizens who have these types of water sources on their properties know us, and know that we come yearly to treat them.
However, we do not know all of these sources, and especially, those on unoccupied properties. If water sources contain fish, it is doubtful that these would be a problem as the fish eat the larvae and pupae.
Trap numbers from the samples collected today remain very low. In order to ensure this keeps happening – i.e. – low adult numbers, we will likely fog this week, once again, focusing our efforts in and near the wetlands. We will likely not be coming through all neighborhoods depicted on the fogging route.
As always, fogging occurs around 8:30 pm until midnight; be prepared for us to continue to fog throughout this week without further notification.
No dead birds were reported since my update last week.
Please continue to use the District phone to call in dead birds and also now, to report standing water sources that may contain mosquito larvae. We very much appreciate your help, thank you.
Elizabeth Nance, Manager/ Entomologist Phone 435-259-7161
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