West Nile virus identified in Grand Forks

West Nile virus identified in Grand Forks Click to Enlarge

A pool of mosquitoes collected in Grand Forks Wednesday has been identified as having West Nile virus -- and Todd Hanson of Grand Forks Mosquito Control says it’s believed to be the first such identification in North Dakota this year.

Hanson says the most common mosquito transmitting the virus is most active just before sundown and throughout the night into early morning hours.

"We don't have a lot of nuisance mosquitoes right now," Hanson said. "I think that will change within the next week with the rain that we had.

"We don't want people to let their guard down thinking that 'there's no mosquitoes out there right now, so I don't have to worry about it.'"

Hanson says citizens should take extra precautions to avoid being bitten.

He suggests eliminating standing water around homes that might be a breeding ground for the bugs.

"Anything that holds water for up to a week could potentially raise mosquitoes," Hanson said. "These type of mosquitoes, when they hatch out, they stay close to the area that they hatched from. You want to eliminate any breeding sites around your own property."

North Dakota had 62 human West Nile cases in 2017. Two were fatal.

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