West Nile virus detected in Bernalillo County mosquitoes

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  West Nile has been detected in mosquitos in Bernalillo County. The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department and Bernalillo County Planning and Development Services Department made the announcement Monday.

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They say mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been collected at locations throughout Bernalillo County as part of a regular monitoring program. “Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus will be around until there is a good hard frost in the area, so we urge people to continue to take precautions against mosquito bites throughout the rest of the season,” said Dr. Mark DiMenna, Deputy Director for the City’s Environmental Health Department in a news release.

The city and county operate a joint mosquito control program, aimed at reducing populations of mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus. Common West Nile virus symptoms are fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches. In some rare cases, the virus can cause meningitis or encephalitis. If someone has these symptoms, they should see their health care provider.

To minimize mosquito bites, the City of Albuquerque suggests the following:

  • Use insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents that have been proven effective, which includes those containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 for use on skin, and permethrin for use on clothing. Always follow label directions when using insect repellents.
  • Eliminate water-holding containers where mosquitoes lay their eggs, such as old tires, and regularly change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet water bowls. Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened.
  • When flood-irrigating, prevent water from standing for more than a few days
  • Keep windows and doors closed if they do not have screens. If you leave your house doors or windows open, make sure they have screens that fit tightly and do not have holes.

Residents in Albuquerque can report mosquito breeding or request mosquito control by calling 311.

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