The Moab Mosquito Abatement District said in an Aug. 6 press release that two out of 13 adult mosquito samples collected on July 30 tested positive for West Nile virus. One sample was collected from the wetlands east of Portal RV park; the second sample was collected on Carlos Court in the Steenville neighborhood. 

This brings the total of confirmed positive West Nile virus samples this year up to six over a four-week period. 

“The general time frame for WNV to dissipate from the environment is the autumnal equinox, which is Sept. 23 this year,” the abatement district press release stated. “This means we have at least 48 days remaining in the active West Nile virus cycle.”

The abatement district said citizens should protect themselves and their children by covering up and wearing an Environmental Protection Agency- (EPA)- approved mosquito repellent, especially during the hours of 8 p.m. to midnight and dawn hours, when vector mosquitoes (those potentially carrying disease) are most active. 

According to the abatement district, eight persons have been screened for West Nile virus at Moab Regional Hospital, with none testing positive. 

Chemical fogging will resume, with a focus on the wetlands on the western side of Moab and the large hotels that abut them. 

“Fogging occurs around 8:30 p.m. until midnight; be prepared for us to continue to fog throughout this week without further notification,” the abatement district said.

The abatement district has requested that citizens report “oddly sick behavior” by local birds to the district, including crows, ravens, magpies, jays, hawks, eagles and owls that are susceptible to West Nile virus, by calling the district.

All other correspondence should occur via email in order to keep the phone line open for emergency contacts. The abatement district’s phone number is 435-259-7161, and its email address is moabmosquito@gmail.com.