Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus

Sarah Thamer

The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District in Ramsey County announced that West Nile virus has returned to Minnesota.

Samples of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus during the annual West Nile virus risk reduction program. However no human cases of the virus have been reported yet.

“The recent rainfall will result in an increase in the mosquito species responsible for spreading the virus within the bird population. Warm summer temperatures could accelerate this trend,” reports the MMCD.

KSTP reports Minnesota health officials said that while risks for the virus are low, residents should still use “common sense measures” to prevent and avoid mosquito bites and potential threats of the virus.

Risk reduction, as suggested by the MMCD, includes use of bug spray, long sleeve shirts, and avoiding being outside for long periods of time during dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, “Most of the severe human cases of WN disease begin with a sudden onset of fever, headache, neck stiffness, and vomiting. The illness progresses quickly to include confusion and other mental status changes, altered reflexes, convulsions, and coma.”

Currently, there is no treatment for West Nile virus other than supportive care.