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Published August 15, 2012, 08:17 PM

Grand Forks County horse tests positive for West Nile virus

GRAND FORKS - A horse from Grand Forks County has been positively identified as having West Nile virus, city officials said today.

By: Forum Communications, INFORUM

GRAND FORKS - A horse from Grand Forks County has been positively identified as having West Nile virus, city officials said today.

No human cases have been reported so far in the county. Earlier this month, a Dickey County man was the state’s first confirmed human case of West Nile this year. Last year, the state had four human cases of West Nile.

Although trap counts have been low so far this year, the Grand Forks Health Department is urging citizens to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Todd Hanson, mosquito control supervisor for Grand Forks, said that because the nuisance mosquito numbers have been low this year, people may not think to take extra precautions. But the dry, hot temperatures of late are ripe for the mosquitoes that can carry the virus, most notably the Culex tarsalis mosquito.

“We are really into the peak times for those conditions,” he said. The city put out four more traps on Monday, he said. The city trap counts have been hovering at about four to five the past few days.

To help reduce your risk of getting West Nile virus, the state and local health departments recommend the following protective measures:

Use insect repellent that contains DEET.

Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts when possible.

Eliminate standing water around homes (e.g., buckets, flowerpots, old tires, wading pools and birdbaths).

Keep the grass around your home trimmed.

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