Science on Tap Coeur d’Alene: Public Health from a Bug’s-Eye View

Tuesday, March 31 2009

March 31, 2009

Written by Ken Kingery

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – The West Nile virus has not been an issue to date for northern Idaho and eastern Washington, and armed with a little bit of knowledge, everyone can help keep it that way.

This month’s Science on Tap Coeur d’Alene – a partnership program between the University of Idaho and the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research – features Kim Knerl, owner and operator of Public Health Pest Control. Backed by more than 20 years of experience fighting pests dangerous to public health, Knerl will answer questions about pest control issues as well as present information on how to best avoid the West Nile virus.

The event will be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 14, at the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Company, 209 Lakeside Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

“The West Nile virus can get pretty nasty,” said Knerl, who has helped many counties in Idaho develop mosquito management plans. “And it’s the most current threat in this area with respect to infectious disease.”

Though the disease has not yet seriously affected the area, southern Idaho had a major bout with West Nile in 2006. With more than 1,000 confirmed cases, Idaho had the most of any state in the country. In fact, even though Idaho has less than five percent of California’s population, it saw 25 percent more cases of West Nile.

For some, symptoms are mild and can be confused with the flu. Others are not so lucky and experience extreme fatigue, partial paralysis and even death. Idaho had 23 confirmed fatalities from West Nile virus in 2006.

But because the disease has not reached the northern part of the state, none of the counties currently have active mosquito control plans in place. So it rests on each individual to take steps to minimize the risk of infection.

Measures that can be taken include ensuring doors and windows close properly, installing screens and covering exposed skin at sundown, among other recommendations. To learn more, or ask questions about your own pests, be sure to attend the event.

For more information about Science on Tap Coeur d’Alene, call (208) 699-6240.

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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

About the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research
NWABR is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to promote the understanding of biomedical research, and the applications and implications of that research. NWABR's member organizations include over 80 universities, research institutes and hospitals, voluntary health associations, professional societies and biotechnology organizations in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Our goals are to educate the Northwest community about the process by which research advances, and to empower citizens to make informed choices on issues related to biomedical research. For information about the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research contact Susan Adler, Executive Director, at (206) 957-3337 or

About Idaho TechConnect Incorporated
Idaho TechConnect Inc. (ITCI) is a science and technology-focused business development organization for start-ups and early stage technology ventures for the State of Idaho. ITCI helps identify resources that help improve the speed and probability of success for these ventures. 

Media Contacts: Ken Kingery, University Communications, (208) 885-9156,; or Laurie Hassell, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, (208) 699-6240,

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit