mosquito trap.jpg

This is the type of trap the Health Department uses to test mosquitoes for the West Nile Virus.

A sample of mosquitoes from Imperial has tested positive for the West Nile virus. It is the second sample from the county to test positive for the virus this summer, said Scott Darrough, environmental vector technician for the Jefferson County Health Department.

Darrough said the sample tested positive on Monday (Sept. 20), and the Health Department treated the area the same night.

The first sample of mosquitoes that tested positive this summer was reported Sept. 13 and was collected from Sunset Park in Festus.

Darrough said the Health Department has about 100 collection sites in the county, and samples are collected and tested once a month.

He said he believes more positive tests will be reported before the mosquito season ends.

“(The virus) builds with the mosquito and bird populations in particular, other animals as well,” he said.

The mosquito season starts in mid-May and ends in mid-October, depending on weather.

To avoid getting the virus, Darrough said he encourages people to use insect repellent containing 20 to 50 percent DEET or picaridin and to eliminate sources of standing water.

“They don’t like water that moves,” he said.

Darrough said those who contract the West Nile virus have flu-like symptoms.