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Weed and Pest Control District taking early precautions against WNV 

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According to Sheridan County Weed and Pest Control District, last year, Sheridan County communities experienced a spike in the reported cases of the mosquito borne disease, West Nile Virus (WNV). 

Wyoming Department of Health statistics show there was one human case, five equine cases, and four positive pools of WNV vector mosquitoes in Sheridan County reported in 2023. Statewide that same year, the Cowboy State had 27 human cases with three fatalities, and 41 equine cases.

Sheridan County Weed and Pest Control District Assistant Supervisor Brian Songer said the percentage of adults that show symptoms of the WNV is surprisingly low. 

B. Songer

According to the district, approximately one in five people who are infected will develop fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or rash. Most will recover completely but symptoms can last for weeks or months. Severe illness occurs in approximately one out of 150 people and may result in encephalitis or meningitis.

The district wants the public to be aware that people over 60 and those with certain pre-existing medical conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from WNV infection.

Due to the significant incidences of WNV detected last year, Sheridan County mosquito control agencies are working closely together to gather and share information about the mosquito population. 

B. Songer

Monitoring of larvae populations will be conducted in several locations in Sheridan County throughout the summer months. Trapping of adult mosquitoes to collect and test WNV vector mosquitoes will begin in Mid June and continue through early September.

While there is no vaccine for humans, horses can be vaccinated to reduce the risk of contracting severe West Nile Virus infection. 

For more information, contact your local mosquito control representative. Sheridan County – Weed and Pest District, Brian Songer, Assistant Supervisor, 672-3740. City of Sheridan – Mosquito Hotline 655-8297. Town of Ranchester – Robert Miller, Parks and Recreation Manager, 655-2283.

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