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What About West Nile Virus?

tarsalisMosquitoes kill more people than any other animal in the world. Magna Mosquito Abatement District is committed to protecting the public health of the individuals living within the district. We try to focus our efforts on those mosquitoes that are known to transmit disease. Currently, Culex Pipiens (pictured in bottom paragraph) and Culex Tarsalis (pictured right) are the main targets for our district. These mosquitoes can be found from late spring into late summer. The peak season for these mosquitoes is late summer, and conversely West Nile Virus tends to peak in late summer as well. We are able to determine where West Nile Virus is by trapping mosquitoes and testing them for the Virus at the mosquito abatement. We also send other mosquitoes to the state health lab to test them not only for West Nile Virus but for St. Louis Encephalitis and Western Equine Encephalitis as well.

chickensMagna Mosquito Abatement also has three sentinal chicken flocks placed in locations around the district as another tool for mosquito surveillance. Blood is drawn from each chicken twice a month.  The blood is sent to California for testing and if we find a chicken tests positive for disease, we begin testing chickens weekly. Testing mosquitoes and chickens gives us different information. If we have positive mosquito pools it means virus is present. If we have positive chickens it means the virus is being transmitted from mosquito to host. This information has given us a surveillance program that has helped us target areas where we see positive virus activity. When we find an area with the virus we concentrate our efforts in that area.

pipienThe Culex Pipien (pictured right) mosquito is found in urban areas and therefore within the city or town you live in. We have tested and found these mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in Magna, West Valley and Kearns. Culex Pipiens are attracted to containers, catch basins, rain gutters, storm drains, poorly maintained swimming pools and any stagnant water left unattended in your backyard. We do what we can to stop these mosquitoes, but please, if you have anything in your backyard that has water in it, dump it if you can, clean it out often if you can't.

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