West Nile Detected In Albany County Mosquitoes
West Nile virus has been detected in a mosquito sample in Albany County. The positive sample was collected between July 29th and August 5th from the Laramie Valley area southwest of Laramie and within the Big Laramie Mosquito District. The sample was not from an area in Laramie city limits.
Mosquito samples are tested using the City’s Rapid Analyte Measurement Platform, or RAMP, testing equipment. More tests to confirm the positive result will be conducted. Confidence is very high that the sample is positive based on the values reported by the RAMP testing.
With this positive result, the rating of the Risk of West Nile virus infection has been elevated to Level 2, or low risk. This level of risk is based on the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for a phased response to West Nile virus surveillance data. Currently, the virus activity is categorized as “Limited to sporadic activity in local mosquitoes and birds”.
There have been no human, equine, or avian cases of the virus reported in Albany County this year.
Throughout the summer season, technicians have tested 85 mosquito sample pools. This is the first positive test in the county this year.
Although the total number of mosquitos is relatively low, the type of mosquitos that carry the virus make up a greater percentage of the mosquito population in late summer months.
As a result of the positive test, mosquito control will be resuming full neighborhood – Citywide fogging.. A decision to return to perimeter fogging in the outlying neighborhoods will be made after the full fogging is completed in each of the four zones and trap data and RAMP testing is evaluated. Mosquito Control is also currently performing targeted fogging operations to control vector mosquitoes in areas of higher vector densities and areas where citizens often recreate in the evening hours.
Targeted areas include parks and recreation areas, golf courses, and the Laramie River Greenbelt Trail. All “No Spray” zones will continue to be honored at this time
Citizens are reminded that West Nile virus can infect people of all ages, but the elderly may be at the greatest risk for a serious infection. Locally, the mosquitoes that transmit the virus are most active after dusk, and citizens should limit activities in areas with high mosquito populations during this time. Repairing screens, especially in sleeping rooms, and using personal protection such as proper clothing and insect repellent containing DEET can also reduce the risk.
Hotline information regarding chemical applications on City owned properties will be updated daily at 4 p.m. Call 721-5056 or click on the Mosquito and Chemical Application hotline tab on the City of Laramie home page. For further information contact Keith Wardlaw, Mosquito Control Crew Supervisor at 721-5258 or David Schott, Parks Manager at 721-5264.