West Nile Virus Confirmed in Laramie Mosquitoes
West Nile Virus has been found in Laramie for the second time in the past three weeks -- this time, in mosquitoes.
A sample from a mosquito trap within cit limits tested positive for the virus on Thursday. The risk of human infection in Laramie is still low, rated at level 1.
The city says in a news release that virus activity is limited to sporadic activity in local mosquitoes and birds. The year's first positive sample of West Nile was found in a woodpecker located July 20 in Laramie and tested at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory.
West Nile virus has not been reported in humans or horses in Albany County this year, but the Wyoming Department of Health announced earlier this week that a Goshen County woman did test positive for the virus, marking Wyoming's first human case in 2016.
Technicians in Laramie have tested 35 samples of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes -- the known vector of West Nile virus in the region -- so far this summer. Goshen County reported 12 positive mosquito samples and Fremont County reported three positive mosquito samples.
Total mosquito numbers are low, but Culex tarsalis mosquitoes make up a greater proportion of the total population in late summer due to the overwintering and reproduction cycles.
The city currently reports low to moderate numbers of vector mosquitoes in traps near the Big Laramie River and in some rural locations. Within Laramie, residential surveillance sites report low vector numbers.
Fogging will continue in neighborhoods on the edge of town, where the numbers of Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are higher, in order to control mosquitoes that may have moved into Laramie after being displaced from rural agricultural habitat by the haying harvest.
Mosquito Control may return to full residential fogging after current fogging efforts have been completed and more test results have been evaluated.
The city says mosquito control crews are fogging in recreational areas in Laramie to control vector mosquitoes in areas where they are more dense. Places where residents often recreate in the evening such as parks, golf courses and the Laramie River Greenbelt Trail.
No spray zones are still being honored at this time.
Elderly residents may be at the greatest risk of serious infection, but anyone could get infected. Repairing screens -- particularly in bedrooms -- wearing proper clothing and using insect repellent containing DEET can also reduce risk of infection.
For more information on West Nile virus in Wyoming, visit badskeeter.org or the Centers for Disease Control website.
The Mosquito and Chemical application Hotline is updated with the latest information at 4 p.m. each day. Call 721-5056 or visit the City of Laramie website for the latest updates on mosquito control work.