Mosquitoes that examined positive for West Nile virus have been collected in Bernalillo County in the past week, the city of Albuquerque and county officers introduced on Wednesday.
The mosquitoes had been the first West Nile virus-positive insects recognized within the county this year.
Mark DiMenna, deputy director for the city’s Environmental Health Department, stated the city collects and tests mosquitoes every week at more than 20 sites in Albuquerque.
“We often start testing around the second week in May. Almost every year we collect mosquitoes that test positive (for West Nile virus), however, we don’t get quite a lot of cases of infected individuals,” DiMenna stated. “The infection rate is absolutely low in mosquitoes.”
DiMenna stated that New Mexico residents shouldn’t keep away from the outdoors due to the mosquitoes; however, should follow precautions to keep away from bites. The city recommends using insect repellent, avoiding standing water, and preserving windows and doors closed.
“It’s not about fear. It’s about mitigating danger and being ready,” DiMenna mentioned.
The department additionally advises residents to go to the physician if they show signs of West Nile virus, which include fever, nausea, and muscle aches.
Mosquito populations have been excessive this spring and summer in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County due to the increased runoff in the Rio Grande and regular rain.
“We had more mosquitoes this June than in the last two years combined,” DiMenna mentioned. “We knew it was going to be dangerous, just not this apocalyptic.”