Mosquito District to Conduct Aerial Spraying This Evening

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The West Umatilla Mosquito Control District will conduct aerial mosquito control spraying this evening. (Photo: Pixabay)

The West Umatilla Mosquito Control District will be conducting targeted aerial mosquito control spraying with a twin engine airplane after sunset this evening, Aug. 28, 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 three confirmed positive samples in 2017. Initial detection was on June 21 and two more were confirmed last week by the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Corvallis. Positive samples have been collected on Hwy 730 near the Morrow County line, in Umatilla, and in east Hermiston near Highland Hills.

A total of 10,240 acres are to be targeted in areas north and east of Hermiston and along Hwy 730 between the city of Umatilla and the county line that have high populations of vector mosquitoes. No areas within city limits are currently scheduled for aerial spraying. For more information please contact West Umatilla Mosquito Control District at 541-567-5201.

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.

Here are some suggestions to reduce the risk of exposure to West Nile:

· Get rid of old tires and other containers where water can accumulate and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

· Flush or replace the water in horse troughs weekly.

· Be sure to flush or add mosquito fish to ornamental ponds.

· Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

· Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in mosquito infested areas.

· Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, making sure to follow the directions on the container.

· Screen doors and windows.

· Report mosquito infestations and dead bird sightings to the West Umatilla Mosquito Control District (541) 567-5201

Because horses are also at risk for West Nile, health officials encourage horse owners to check with their veterinarians for vaccination. Veterinarians can arrange for testing of samples from horses suspected of infection with West Nile virus.