JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – The Jefferson County Health Department reports West Nile has been detected in a mosquito sample collected from Imperial. A mosquito sample from Festus showed the virus present in August. Health officials say the results are not cause for alarm but encourage residents to take precautions, including eliminating standing water.
“Standing water is definitely a spot where mosquitos tend to hang out and breed, so we want to eliminate that as much as possible,” said Brianne Zwiener, Jefferson County Health Department public information officer.
She said using insect repellents that contain 20% – 50% DEET or Picaridin, wearing light-colored
clothes, and covering exposed skin can also protect from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
Imperial resident Judee Cole was surprised to hear about the West Nile sample.
“It scares me that they’re that close,” she said.
Cole removes standing water whenever she sees some.
“We take a squeegee and squeegee it down to the drain,” she said.
Mosquito season is nearly over. Zwiener said, “We’re kind of nearing the end of it but not quite time to let our guard down just yet.”
She said anyone feeling ill after a mosquito bite should contact their physician.
The Jefferson County Health Department implemented control measures in the affected area and the department’s mosquito control surveillance program will continue to monitor the mosquito population for the West Nile Virus.
For more information, you can visit www.jeffcohealth.org.