Adult mosquitoes found in Hillsboro have tested positive for West Nile Virus – the first positive test in Jefferson County this season, according to the Jefferson County Health Department.
Judy Tufts, the Health Department’s emergency response supervisor, said it’s unusual to be this far into the summer with no other mosquitoes testing positive for the virus.
“There just have not been West Nile positives this year like we normally have,” she said.
Tufts said the Health Department had geared up for a bad season because of all the spring flooding.
Emergency response vector technician Scott Darrough said he, too, thought there would be a lot of positive tests.
However, he said he expects to see more positive tests coming.
“September is when it tends to really show its head,” Darrough said.
Tufts said the season starts once temperatures rise above 70 degrees and stay there. She said the season normally starts around late May and early June and goes to early October.
“We still have a good 30 days to go that I consider the mosquito season,” she said.
The mosquito that tested positive for the virus was found in a surveillance trap the Health Department set up, Tufts said.
She said there are 100 sites around the county with surveillance traps.
Darrough said residents should continue taking measures to avoid mosquito bites and to prevent, or at least minimize, population growth in mosquitoes.
Some protection measures include using insect repellent containing 20-50 percent DEET or Picaridin, wearing light-colored clothing and removing standing water sources that can be sites for mosquitoes to lay eggs in, such as old tires, cans, buckets, flower pots or pools.