TWIN FALLS COUNTY, Idaho – Public health officials say that at least one mosquito from a batch collected in Twin Falls County has tested positive of carrying the West Nile virus.

The Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District (TFCPAD) collected mosquitoes in a trap along the border of Jerome and Twin Falls counties, according to South Central Public Health District.

“Overall, mosquito trap numbers in the county are low,” TFCPAD Manager Brian Simper said in a statement on Wednesday. “But this positive serves as a good reminder that West Nile Virus is out there, and the public can take steps to reduce mosquito habitat and avoid mosquitoes when they are most active at dusk and dawn.”

Symptoms of the West Nile virus include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. More severe infections may involve the central nervous system, according to the health district. People at greater risk for serious illness from the virus are those 50 years or older and people with serious medical conditions.

Public health officials urge residents to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites by several things, including:

  • Using insect repellent with an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitos carrying the virus are most active.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes with long sleeves and pants.
  • Installing screens on all windows and doors.
  • Checking for, and draining, any standing water around your home every three to six days. This includes clogged rain gutters, pools, bird baths, old tires and other outside water features.

“West Nile virus can be nasty and, in some cases lead to deadly complications,” said SCPHD Nurse Program Manager Logan Hudson. “When the Pest Abatement District warns us about a trapped mosquito carrying the disease, we know it’s possible West Nile could spread quickly through south-central Idaho. Preventing mosquito bites may be a hassle, but it’s worth it.”