West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness.


West Nile Virus is an arbovirus (ARthropod BOrne VIRUS) that naturally cycles within local bird populations. It is passed along most often through the bite of a female mosquito, which comes looking for blood from the bird for protein to create a batch of eggs. If there are enough virus particles in the blood of the bird to withstand the mosquito's digestion process and to spread to her salivary glands, the mosquito then becomes able to pass along the virus to the next bird, horse, or human that she bites. Interestingly, the host (source of blood) preference of the main vector of WNV in Teton County (Culex tarsalis) has been shown to shift as the season progresses, moving from mostly birds in May and June to a more mammal-based diet in July, August and September. For this reason it is important to stay vigilant and protect oneself against mosquito bites long into the season, even when the peak number of summer mosquitoes has dissipated.

Wyoming Mosquito Management Association - Mosquito Abatement in Wyoming

Mosquito abatement throughout Wyoming encounters a variety of challenges and consequently results in a multitude of local approaches. Sharing and building upon these innovations is just one of the goals of the Wyoming Mosquito Management Association.