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Health

OKC-County Health Dept. keeps close eye on recent uptick in mosquitoes, tests for West Nile virus – KOCO Oklahoma City

It seems like we’re all using more bug spray lately with all the mosquitoes outside in Oklahoma.KOCO 5’s Sabrina Bates went inside the lab where the Oklahoma City-County Health Department is closely monitoring the insects we’ve been fighting.The local health department has been collecting local mosquitoes for the last nine weeks. There are nearly 15 traps spread out across the county, but how many mosquitoes do they pick up each week?”Depends on the week. Last week, we had 302. The week before that, I had 625,” said Sara Liggins, the senior public health specialist with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.The number also depends on the weather.”If you get a good rain and a good three days of heat, oh, you’ll probably see a large amount of mosquitoes,” Liggins said.After they sort the mosquitoes by species, genus and gender under a microscope, they put the females in tubes to test for West Nile virus. They only test the females because those are the only ones that bite.”In the nine weeks that I have been testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus, they have all been negative,” Liggins said.That’s just in Oklahoma County. Reports could be different in other parts of the state. After the rain last week, mosquitoes won’t develop overnight. The larvae need time to grow.”When I picked up the mosquitoes yesterday, it was a lot of larvae,” Liggins said. “So, they’ll probably be well developed next week for me to pick them up and test them.

It seems like we’re all using more bug spray lately with all the mosquitoes outside in Oklahoma.

KOCO 5’s Sabrina Bates went inside the lab where the Oklahoma City-County Health Department is closely monitoring the insects we’ve been fighting.

The local health department has been collecting local mosquitoes for the last nine weeks. There are nearly 15 traps spread out across the county, but how many mosquitoes do they pick up each week?

“Depends on the week. Last week, we had 302. The week before that, I had 625,” said Sara Liggins, the senior public health specialist with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

The number also depends on the weather.

“If you get a good rain and a good three days of heat, oh, you’ll probably see a large amount of mosquitoes,” Liggins said.

After they sort the mosquitoes by species, genus and gender under a microscope, they put the females in tubes to test for West Nile virus. They only test the females because those are the only ones that bite.

“In the nine weeks that I have been testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus, they have all been negative,” Liggins said.

That’s just in Oklahoma County. Reports could be different in other parts of the state.

After the rain last week, mosquitoes won’t develop overnight. The larvae need time to grow.

“When I picked up the mosquitoes yesterday, it was a lot of larvae,” Liggins said. “So, they’ll probably be well developed next week for me to pick them up and test them.

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