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Contact: Kim Flora, 270-781-8039 ext. 117
Contact: Vickie Carson, 270-758-2192
Bowling Green, KY (September 13, 2017) - Throughout the summer, the Barren River District Health Department (BRDHD) has been working to monitor the mosquito population in and around the Barren River District area. One of the testing sites has been in Mammoth Cave National Park. A group of mosquitoes that were captured on August 15, 2017 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). BRDHD does not have any human cases of WNV reported thus far this year. According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KY DPH), between 2012 and 2016, Kentucky has averaged 10 human cases of WNV infection annually. “We are not surprised by the virus being found within the mosquito population as West Nile has been known to be in Kentucky for quite some time,” said Tom Buchanan, Barren River District Health Department’s Environmental Director. “When we see a positive test come back, it is a good reminder to take precautions when we are outdoors.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most effective way to avoid WNV disease is to prevent mosquito bites. “We want to remind our visitors to stay safe from natural hazards as they enjoy outdoor adventures in the park," said Barclay Trimble, Superintendent of Mammoth Cave National Park. "West Nile virus can affect humans, but it is a preventable disease. Spray or cover -- use a repellent or wear clothing to cover your skin."
The KY DPH continues to work with BRDHD and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to aid in mosquito borne disease surveillance and mosquito control. "We appreciate the diligent work of the Barren River District Health Department in keeping a watchful eye on health issues that impact people and wildlife," added Trimble. "They are a valued partner of Mammoth Cave National Park."
CDC recommends the following precautions to protect from mosquito borne diseases:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions. More information about insect repellents can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html.
When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.
Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, birdbaths and discarded tires on a regular basis.
More information can be found online at: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/ or http://www.chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/westnile.htm.
Ph: (270) 781-8039, Fax: (270) 796-8946