Early Case of West Nile Found in Fargo

Vector Control is taking extra measures to prevent more cases of the virus

FARGO, ND — Cass County officials say they have found a mosquito with the West Nile virus in one of the traps in Fargo.

There were 21 confirmed cases of West Nile in Cass County last year and finding a sample this early is unusual.

Mosquitoes are the pesky bugs we can’t seem to get away from.

“I hate them,” said Josh Neumayer.

Mosquito bites cause an annoying itch, but, sometimes, that bite can prove hazardous to your health.

“It’s not anything unusual, we are endemic to West Nile Virus. We have it almost every year,” said Ben Prather, Vector Control Director.

West Nile is still a danger to the community.

“Symptoms ranging from fever, headache, muscle aches,” said Brenton Nesemeier, an epidemiologist.

“The worst thing that I hate about them is when they bite you, it itches,” said Neumayer.

Last year, 85 cases of West Nile were reported in North Dakota.

What makes this year unusual is how early the virus was found.

“Sometimes it’s August, some years it’s September. This year, it’s July. Which again, is the most interesting aspect of it,” said Prather.

There are a few ways you can keep the mosquitoes away from you.

“Bug spray. I guess I spray around my house,” said Amy Breuer.

“Take the walk around the yard and empty the containers and try to clean up your own property,” said Prather.

“If you have tires in your yard, get rid of those,” said Nesemeier.

Vector Control will be doing their part as well.

“It elevates the criteria of the surveillance we’re going to be doing. We have done numerous specimens, numerous samples up to this point and we’re going to continue to do that,” said Prather.

The bugs are here, and, unfortunately, they’re not going away, but the more safety precautions we take, the more we’ll steer clear from the West Nile virus.

“Just be aware that it is out there,” said Nesemeier.

Cases of West Nile have been found in the Metro every year since 2002.

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