Spike in mosquitoes may lead to West Nile virus cases soon

Mosquito, mosquitoes

WICHITA, Kansas — The weather has been perfect for mosquitoes and that has increased the threat of the West Nile virus.

After a slow start into the mosquito season, the Sedgwick County Health Department has seen a sudden spike in mosquitoes in just one week.

Adrienne Lutz, a division director for the Health Department said they have been tracking the population and types of mosquitoes since mid-May.

“Since last week, we’ve seen about a 162 percent increase in mosquitoes in general, and then a 227 percent increase in the particular type of mosquito that carries the West Nile virus called Culex,” said Lutz.

Lutz says studies show that in other states that have a similar increase in Culex mosquitoes, cases of West Nile virus tend to show up about two weeks later in people.

The health department is reminding people of the Three Ds to reduce mosquito bites and mosquito breeding:

* Dress in long sleeves and pants during peak mosquito biting times – dawn and dusk.
* DEET – Use mosquito repellents that contain DEET or permethrin.
* Drain standing water daily, including your dog’s water bowl and bird baths.

For more information visit SedgwickCounty.org.

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