A significant drop in the number of West Nile outbreaks is good news for those working to fight the bite. Four years ago Idaho led the nation in the number of human illnesses associated with the virus, but this year that number is drastically different.
In 2006 the number of officially reported human cases of the West Nile Virus in the Gem State was just under 1000. So far this year that number is zero and credit is being given to a long list of factors.
David Herter, Bannock County Mosquito Abatement Supervisor: “It’s getting toward the end of the season and the water is starting to cool down and a lot of the waterways are starting to dry up.”
Mosquito season is drawing to a close as cooler temperatures make their way into the area. Within the next two weeks local abatement districts are expected to wrap up the fogging process for the year. The fogging technique is targeted at killing adult mosquitoes.
This year there has only been one confirmed case of the West Nile Virus has been reported to the state health department. The confirmed case was in Franklin County where a horse was infected by the virus.
Abatement specialists say this year’s sharp drop in the number of West Nile cases is due to a number of factors. The 2010 mosquito season had a very cold start which included the coldest May on record. Cooler temperatures combined with windy conditions helped to keep mosquito populations at bay.
There has also been a steady increase in local data collection at local abatement districts. The information helps to monitor and track possible areas of the virus.
All of those factors combined with a large increase in education and people using insect repellant has kept the virus at bay.