COUNCIL BLUFFS — The hot, dry weather may be uncomfortable to many, but there's one piece of good news — there are fewer mosquitoes.
That's the word from Council Bluffs Health Director Donn Dierks — especially as it applies to the spread of West Nile virus.
“There are no human cases of West Nile in Pottawattamie County, and only two statewide, with one in Shelby County and the other in Linn County,” Dierks said. “Mosquitoes are down statewide.”
That's an understatement, according to his records. At this time last year, 31 human cases had been reported. Dierks said, however, that one of his department's sentinel chickens had tested positive for the virus — the only such case in the state.
The lack of mosquitoes could change once rain arrives, hydrating the eggs, he said.
What's more, mosquito activity usually peaks in late summer and early fall.
West Nile symptoms include fever, headaches, fatigue, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash.
To reduce mosquito bites, Dierks recommended wearing long-sleeved tops and long pants, especially at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. People should use an insect repellent with DEET and never allow standing water in open containers or old tires.
Water in birdbaths should be changed every three or four days.