Crews Begin Work to Keep West Nile Virus Out of Boone County

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services is working to eliminate the mosquito problem around local trails. The department began to spray for mosquitoes early Friday morning, and it will continue to spray every Friday between midnight and 6 a.m. until early fall.

Columbia residents can expect to see a small red Chevrolet covering the MKT and Grindstone trails. The truck is sent out at night because mosquitoes are more active in low temperatures.

Mosquitoes are also more active around still water. With all of the rain this spring, there's an increased fear of the West Nile virus (WNV) carried by mosquitoes. People who are bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus could get WNV without even knowing they have it. WNV victims usually have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, but some cases can become serious in people with existing health risks. Fortunately, Boone County hasn't had a human case of West Nile since 2007.

The department said removing standing water from around homes, wearing insect repellent and repairing door and window screens are the best ways to prevent getting the virus.

The inside of parks are only sprayed when requested by the Parks and Recreation Department or before special events like summer festivals. It only sprays in neighborhoods if there is a reported case of WNV in the area.

For more information on the city's mosquito control program, please contact Public Health and Human Services' Environmental Health division.