No cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Vermont.
There's been an outbreak in the U.S. and mosquitoes have tested positive in New Hampshire.
The virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. In the past, the state has run a surveillance program for birds and mosquitoes, but a lack of federal dollars prevented that kind of testing this year. Officials, however, did recently gather a batch of mosquitoes and expect test results next week.
Regardless, health officials say Vermont has always had at least one positive test in a bird or a mosquito. And they expect that is the case this year, as well.
"So I think we know West Nile virus is circulating in our state. There no reason to think that's different this year. I can say I wouldn't like to have more data. I'm an epidemiologist, I'd love to have more data-- what's going on and where the West Nile virus is circulating, but even in the absence I think it should be-- the assumption is that it's here and people should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites," said Erica Berl, a Vermont epidemiologist.
Berl says people should not go out at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are biting, but if they do, it's important to wear repellant. She says you should also remove standing water around your property.
PO Box 4508