One case of West Nile Virus has been reported in Kansas, and until this week, Crawford County — and the entire state — was reported as a high-risk area for the virus.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported one case of West Nile Virus in Barton County, and is currently monitoring mosquitoes in several counties to estimate risk levels across the state.
Crawford County and the surrounding area were bumped from high-risk to moderate this week in a KDHE report. Crawford County Health Officer Rebecca Adamson said while Crawford County has seen no cases of West Nile this year, it is good practice for residents to stay mindful of mosquito control.
“West Nile is the most common mosquito-born virus,” Adamson said. “But it isn’t the only one.”
Adamson said KDHE and the Crawford County Health Department recommend using DEET or Picaridin mosquito repellant when outside at peak mosquito hours.
“Dusk to dawn are the prime mosquito hours,” Adamson said. “If you are outside we recommend using the DEET repellant during those hours.”
Adamson said one of the best ways to prevent West Nile and other viruses is by eliminating standing water around homes if at all possible. Earlier this year, the county hosted a tire pick-up to dispose of old tires in order to combat Zika Virus, which also helped lower the potential for West Nile.
“We see old tires filling up with water,” Adamson said. “Some other things we see are kiddie pools, bird baths, anything that can fill up with stagnant water.”
Updated reports on West Nile in the state can be found at http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/arboviral_disease.htm.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.