BOISE -- Ada County officials say the West Nile virus has arrived for 2013.
A pool of mosquitoes discovered near the intersection of Beacon Light Road and Linder Road in Eagle tested positive for the virus Tuesday morning, according to the Ada County Mosquito Abatement District.
The district has already increased surveillance in the area.
Ada County has aggressively stepped up its efforts this year to monitor mosquitoes by varying the styles of traps they use and by increasing the number of trap locations.
This latest discovery of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus is a reminder to the public to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves. The virus can be a potentially life-threatening disease.
Those who become infected may experience fever, nausea, headaches, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a skin rash. In some cases, people experience paralysis and even death.
Following these guidelines can help reduce your chance of getting infected with the virus:
• Make sure you avoid mosquitoes, especially between dusk and dawn when most mosquitoes are most active.
• Make sure there is no standing water on your property. That old tire swing might be fun for the kids and that bird bath may look pretty but if they have water in them, they are a perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus.
• Make sure to apply DEET or another EPA-approved insect repellent to exposed skin and clothing. Carefully follow instructions on the product label, especially for children.
• Make sure to cover up exposed skin when outside.
• Make sure to insect-proof your home by repairing or replacing damaged screens.
Last year, 12 Idahoans were infected with West Nile virus. In 2006, Idaho led the nation in West Nile virus infections with almost 1,000 infections, which contributed to 23 deaths.