June 14, 2013

Mosquito population rises in Sedgwick County (2013)

Cue the mosquitoes.

Cue the mosquitoes.

Their population has more than doubled within a week, Sedgwick County officials say.

That includes Culex mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus.

Mosquito traps from the week of June 4 showed about 275 mosquitoes in nine traps, a news release from the county said. That number was up to nearly 700 the week of June 11.

The Sedgwick County Health Department investigated 51 cases of West Nile virus last year, the news release said.

The county’s website Friday said no cases yet had been reported this summer.

People infected with the virus show symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and sometimes a skin rash. Less than 1 percent of people infected develop severe symptoms, including headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis, the release said.

The county recommends the “Three D” approach to prevent West Nile virus.

• Drain. Eliminate standing water that becomes mosquito breeding grounds. Empty bird baths, gutters, pots, pet dishes and look for water on top of tarps and in tire swings, the county advises.
• Dress. Cover your skin when you are outdoors, especially during dawn and dusk. Wear long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes.
• Use insect repellent that contains deet. Follow label instructions and avoid over-application.

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