Officials with Southwest District Health have confirmed that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been found in Gem County.
Three separate bugs carrying the disease were trapped near the town of Sweet. It's the first positive test in that area this year.
The mosquito problem has particular urgency in Sweet and nearby Montour, both in Gem County, because neither community is part of Gem County's mosquito abatement program. Montour and Sweet opted out of the mosquito abatement program a number of years ago due to disagreements over insecticide usage. And while the communities have since had a change of heart, they're still in the process of getting the issue on the ballot. Earlier this month, KTVB-TV chronicled how Montour and Gem were struggling with the mosquito problem and spoke to a woman from the area who lost her husband to the West Nile disease just last year.
Meanwhile, health officials caution residents to avoid activities between dawn and dusk in and around areas where mosquitoes are most active.