Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus on the Rise in Iowa

News Article

The Iowa State University Medical Entomology Laboratory has conducted mosquito surveillance in Iowa since 1969 by collecting mosquitoes in monitoring traps and testing for mosquito-borne disease pathogens.  The program is done in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa Hygienic Lab.

The current Iowa mosquito collection data are available online at the Iowa Mosquito Surveillance website. https://mosquito.ent.iastate.edu/  The statewide average mosquito counts by week (including a comparison to last year's mosquito activity) are shown.  See the image below.

West Nile Virus Alert

One of the primary aims of mosquito collection and testing is to monitor presence of the West Nile virus (WNV) in the state.  WNV has been found at exceedingly high levels in mosquito populations collected in Polk and Story Counties.  According to reports from the Iowa Department of Public Health we are currently on pace to have the highest number of cases of WNV in Iowa since 2003.  There have already been 3 deaths from WNV in Iowa so far this year.

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Please remember to wear mosquito repellents and protective clothing when spending time outdoors, especially during the twilight hours when Culex mosquitoes are most active.

Graph showing mosquito populations in Iowa by week

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