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Little brown bat, one of 13 species found around Spokane.

Little brown bat

Movie lets viewers fly through landscapes

Anthill Films present the movie “Return to Earth” on Wednesday, June 19, at Carroll College in the Wiegand Amphitheater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., the film will begin at 7 p.m.

Time is either spent wisely or it is just spent. Second after second; minute after minute; moment after moment… they’re all there for the taking. All you need is a simple machine that defies boundaries and knows no limits.

This is "Return to Earth," a cinematic journey that will immediately transport you into that feeling of total immersion you get on a bike ride. Fly through the lush coastal jungles of Oahu. Feel the dust from Utah’s otherworldly landscapes. Lose yourself in the untouched mountains of Patagonia. Connected by true-to-life examples set by some of the sport’s biggest athletes, unsung shredders and up-and-coming youth, “Return to Earth” proves that when we lose track of time, we can make the most of it.

Steps to prevent West Nile Virus

State and local public health officials are reminding Montanans to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and prevent infection with West Nile Virus (WNV). In Montana, WNV season usually begins in July and ends in October, as this is when the mosquitoes that transmit WNV emerge.

The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. While mosquitoes found in Montana are unable to transmit diseases like Zika virus, they do spread WNV. The virus can also infect horses and birds, with birds serving as the source of infection for most mosquitoes who then pass the virus along to humans by biting them.

Since WNV surveillance began in 2002, the 2018 season was the third highest in terms of the number of WNV cases reported in Montana. Forty-seven people were diagnosed and reported, including one death, which was the 14th WNV-related death in Montana since 2002. Humans are not the only ones that can be infected with WNV and 50 Montana horses were also diagnosed in 2018.

The average number of human cases reported in the three years prior (2015-2017) was eight, while the average number of equine cases reported in the three years prior (2015-2017) was six cases. A vaccine for horses is available and highly recommended but no vaccine is available for human use.

When infected with WNV, about four out of five people will not have symptoms and will develop immunity after clearing the infection. Among the one in five individuals who develop illness, they will generally experience mild symptoms that may include: headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash.

Serious symptoms can develop in rare cases with fewer than one in 100 of those infected developing infections in or around the brain, also known as neuroinvasive disease. Of the 47 cases of WNV reported in 2018; 22 were mild cases, while 25 were neuroinvasive cases. Out of the total 47 cases reported, 51% (24) occurred in individuals over the age of 60 years. Severe illness can occur in people of any age; however, people over 60 years of age are at greater risk.

People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk. Currently, no vaccine or specific treatment exists for a person at risk or ill with WNV. Anyone who develops any of the serious symptoms listed should see their health care provider for evaluation and care.

The 4 D’s of West Nile Virus prevention should be followed to reduce the chance of mosquito bites.

  • DEET: Use insect repellent such as DEET or picaridin.
  • Drain: Drain standing water around your house to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Dawn/Dusk: Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. Stay inside or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • Dress: When possible, wear long sleeved shirts and pants to protect yourself from bites.

For more information about WNV, please visit the DPHHS website at: https://dphhs.mt.gov

Bat walk at Montana WILD – June 14

The fascinating world of bats will be the topic June 14 at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave., just off U.S. Highway 12 West near Spring Meadow Lake State Park.

An avid bat enthusiast, Matt Bell, will lead the program. Participants will see live bats and use special bat detectors to hear their "echolocation" as they navigate and forage for insects.

Bell will also discuss bat myths, the seasonal and daily habits of bats, echolocation or bat communication, bat-house construction, the variety of bat species and how scientists use acoustic data to identify a bat species. Please bring a flashlight and insect repellant.

The one-hour program begins at 9 p.m. The bat walk is limited to 20 people and will fill up quickly. Reserve a spot by calling Montana WILD at 406-444-9944.

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