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Mosquitoes test positive for La Crosse, West Nile viruses in Kanawha, Putnam

Health officials say mosquitoes have tested positive for the La Crosse and West Nile viruses in Kanawha and Putnam counties. (Cropped Photo: Day Donaldson / CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Health officials said Monday that mosquitoes in Kanawha and Putnam counties have tested positive for the La Crosse and West Nile viruses

The state Office of Laboratory Services, within the Bureau for Public Health, confirmed the testing, according to a news release from the Kanawha-Charleston and Putnam County health departments.

Health department officials have been setting mosquito traps for the mosquitoes throughout the summer.

“Since we’ve identified mosquitoes carrying La Crosse and West Nile viruses in Kanawha and Putnam counties, it’s important residents take care to prevent mosquito bites,” said Stanley Mills, director of environmental services. “This is a good reminder to eliminate any standing water in yards and to take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites.”

Mills said the majority of those infected with the viruses do not show symptoms, which include body aches, fever and headaches. Other symptoms may include eye pain, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually develop within 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Although the risk of becoming infected is low, prevention against bites is the best protection. Mosquitoes breed in water-filled containers.

Mills said to wear light-colored loose fitting clothing, to which mosquitoes are less attracted than dark clothing, and when practical, long sleeves and pants.

Those attempting to avoid mosquito bites should choose a mosquito repellent registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Health officials said registered products, such as those containing DEET, have been reviewed, approved and pose minimal risk for human safety when used according to label directions.

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