Collection of mosquitoes in Kanawha area tests positive for West Nile virus

By Jessica Guay

and Jeffrey Morris


CHARLESTON — Even though summer has passed, mosquitoes are still a hazard here in West Virginia. Health officials just confirmed some mosquitoes have West Nile virus in Kanawha County.

“We did find a pool of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus,” John Law, the public information officer for Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Putnam County Health Department.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Putnam County Health Department found a mosquito pool in a cemetery in Kanawha County that tested positive for West Nile virus. KCHD has been monitoring mosquito populations by capturing mosquitos and submitting them for testing to the West Virginia Office of Laboratory Services.

“To tell you the truth that’s absolutely terrifying, it really is,” Lindsay Preston is concerned about West Nile virus.

Law said most people who are exposed to the virus will not develop any symptoms but others might feel like they have the flu. Some might even develop serious illnesses or, in rare cases, death.

Lindsay Preston is a little worried. “I get a lot of bug bites all the time actually, I’m very scared now.”

To help decrease the chance that you will be bitten: remove all standing water starting in your own yard. It can pool up easily after rain, even in places you might not consider. Look for it in places you visit, too… Like cemeteries.

“They love cemeteries because there is so much water standing in vases so any place like that empty the water and get a step ahead of the mosquitoes.” Law said.

Also, wear long sleeves and long pants. Avoid peak mosquito hours, typically dawn and dusk. Use insect repellent.

“To reduce the risk, wear repellent a little bit longer until summer fades out and the mosquitoes go where they go during the winter,” Cade Lewis, a Charleston resident, said.

This is something Lindsay Preston plans on doing every day until the concern disappears.

“I’m going to wear a lot of OFF!” Preston said.

If you have any questions about possible symptoms for West Nile, contact your doctor.

Mosquitoes shouldn’t be a problem once it gets really cold and we experience frost.
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