Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Warmer weather brings mosquito season; residents urged to use caution to avoid West Nile Virus

LAKE COUNTY – With warmer weather starting to arrive, health officials report that the region is now heading into mosquito season, which brings with it the risk of West Nile Virus.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

So far this year, West Nile Virus-related detections are down from last year, according to the California West Nile Virus Web site, www.westnile.ca.gov.

Two dead birds have been found in Los Angeles County, as compared to 11 dead birds by this time last year, and no positive mosquito samples or sentinel chickens have yet been found, the state reported.

Los Angeles County is the only area of the state found to have cases of the virus at this time, while five counties had some form of positive testing at this time last year, according to the state.

State and regional officials urge resident to take the following precautions to help reduce their risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

  • Avoid spending times outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

  • When outdoors wear long pants and long sleeved shirts and use insect repellent.

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding.

  • Repair or replace torn screens on the windows and doors of your home to help keep mosquitoes outside.

  • Add mosquito fish or a larvicide to small ponds that do not have fish. For use of larvicide follow directions on the package.

Most individuals who are infected with WNV do not experience any illness. Mild symptoms – such as fever, rash, headache and body aches – occur in up to 20 percent of persons infected.

Less than 1 percent of WNV infections prove severe, although seniors and individuals with impaired immune systems have a greater chance of developing severe symptoms that include high fever, disorientation, and neurological effects.

The public is advised to see their medical provider if they develop symptoms that could be from WNV.

Since horses are susceptible to WNV and a vaccine is available for horses, horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarians about timely vaccinations.

If you find dead birds or tree squirrels, be sure to report them to the state's dead birds hotline at 1-877-968-2473 or online at www.westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php.

Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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