Aerial Spraying to Combat West Nile Virus

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The West Umatilla Mosquito Control District will be conducting targeted aerial mosquito control spraying with a twin engine airplane after sunset on Saturday, Aug. 13 or Sunday, Aug. 14, weather permitting.

The application is taking place to protect the public against mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in several areas of Western Umatilla County. The district is now up to 10 confirmed positive samples in 2016. Initial detection was on June 28 and four more were confirmed last Friday by the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Corvallis Oregon. Positive samples have been collected near Stanfield, Umatilla, and east of Hermiston on Spearman Road and Hat Rock. The most recent samples were collected at Cold Springs Reservoir and Cooney Lane near the Hermiston Wastewater Treatment Plant.

A total of 10,240 acres are to be targeted in areas north and east of Hermiston that have high populations of vector mosquitoes. No areas within city limits are currently scheduled for aerial spraying. For more information please contact the West Umatilla Mosquito Control District at 567-5201

West Nile is primarily a bird disease, and some birds, including magpies, blue jays and crows are especially susceptible. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on an infected bird and can pass the virus to humans, horses or other hosts when they bite. The public is encouraged to continue to alert district officials when they come across dead birds, so the district can track the spread of the virus.

The risk of West Nile is low but people are encouraged to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites. Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus do not become ill. Some may develop mild flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally swollen lymph glands or a rash. In rare cases West Nile may cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. Individuals with severe or unusual headaches should seek medical care as soon as possible. Residents of the district should remain vigilant in protecting themselves from mosquitoes and the diseases that they can carry.