Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile in Lexington

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department was notified that a mosquito sample collected during the week of Aug. 13 tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The mosquitoes were collected from the 40504 zip code in west central Fayette County.

No reports of human infection have been made in Fayette County. This is the first indication of potential West Nile activity for Fayette County this year and the first positive result reported from a mosquito collection in Kentucky this year.

There are currently eight counties submitting mosquito samples for testing in Kentucky. The only other reported West Nile activity this year was a human case from Boone County.

In 2006, one mosquito collection tested positive for West Nile Virus in Fayette County.

The best way to reduce your risk of contracting West Nile Virus is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Taking the following actions will help you to avoid mosquito bites:

● Be aware of peak mosquito activity times. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times. Use insect repellent when outdoors especially during peak biting times, including early morning hours.
Look for EPA-labeled repellents containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin (KBR3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol). Apply repellent according to label instructions.

When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent that helps prevent bites.

● Mosquito-proof your home and yard. Fix or install window and door screens. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items such as tires, gutters, flower pots, children’s toys, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department routinely conducts West Nile surveillance activities in cooperation with the Kentucky Department for Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Health Planning.

• Mosquito trapping is done throughout the county on a weekly basis at nine different locations. The mosquitoes are then tested for West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, and La Crosse encephalitis by the University of Kentucky Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab. So far this year, there have been no positive results for any of the birds or mosquito collections that have been submitted.

• Dead birds are also collected by the health department for testing. Birds that have been dead for less than 24 hours can be reported to the Division of Environmental Health and Protection at (859) 231-9791.

To help control mosquitoes in Lexington neighborhoods, the health department conducts mosquito-spraying activities through the first frost or when evening temperatures remain below 55o. Spraying is done in the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active. The revised schedule for Sept. 3 through Sept. 7 includes an additional spraying session in the zip code where the positive mosquitoes were collected:

9/3 Tuesday
9/4 Wednesday 9/5 Thursday 9/6 Friday
3:00 a.m.- 6:00 a.m. Labor Day 40502 40508 & 40507 40502 40504, 40510 & 40513
9:00 p.m. –12:00 a.m. No Spraying 40511

40505 40503 & 40514

40504, 40510 & 40513 40515& 40517

40509 &40516

The weather conditions for mosquito spraying must be within the following parameters:

● Wind speed of less than 10 mph.
● Temperature of greater than 55o F
● No rain or dense fog.

To report a standing water or excessive mosquito problem in your area, please contact the Division of Environmental Health and Protection at 231-9791.

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