THE GOOD...THE BAD...AND THE ITCHY

I've been spending many evenings outside this summer, enjoying the great weather we've been having. I think in those many evenings, I've seen one mosquito, and that was in late spring.

The good news is that yes...indeed there are less mosquitoes' due to the dry weather here in Minnesota. But...out of all the varieties of mosquito's that we have in our state, the one that seems to be showing up the most is the Culex Mosquito, the insect that carries West Nile Virus.

According to MMCD, so far, out of all the tests they've done on captured Culex mosquitoes', tests have been negative for West Nile Virus. That's a good thing for now; but they expect positive cases to start showing up soon.

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WHAT IS WEST NILE VIRUS?

What exactly is West Nile Virus? About 8 out of 10 people who contract the disease will have no symptoms.  Of those people who are infected, 1 out of 5 will experience symptoms including fever, headaches, vomiting, rashes, joint pains, and diarrhea. 1 out of about 150 people can develop serious symptoms affecting the central nervous system that may  be permanent or cause death. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile Virus.

If you think that you may have West Nile Virus, it's a good idea to contact your doctor as soon as possible, so you can be tested and begin treatment if necessary.

HOW TO AVOID GETTING BIT

What can you do to increase your chances of avoiding the Culex? Empty any standing water in water bowls around your property. The Culex is most active at dawn and dusk, so wearing repellant and loose fitting clothing during those busy times may help.

THE GOOD NEWS

Looking for some good news in all of this? Well...mosquito larvae are important to our ecosystem. The larvae feed fish, birds, spiders and dragonflies, and probably more than I can name.

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