LANCASTER – One of six local mosquito samples submitted to UC Davis has tested positive for West Nile Virus, authorities announced.
The mosquito sample, which was collected near 20th Street West and Avenue H-8 in Lancaster, is the first sign of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in the Antelope Valley this year, according to a news release by the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (AVMVCD).
“This is a reminder that West Nile Virus is active in the Antelope Valley,” stated District Manager Cei Kratz. “Mosquito control is a shared responsibility of the property owner and the AVMVCD. If both parties do their part to get rid or treat standing water, the entire community will benefit from less mosquitoes and less chances of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus.”
AVMVCD personnel has been conducting intensive searches of the entire District to keep mosquito populations low and to reduce the chances of residents getting ill. This includes door-to-door pool inspections of properties with pools, to ensure they are either clean and maintained or completely dry.
People bitten by an infected mosquito may develop West Nile fever and experience flu-like symptoms that can include fever, body aches, skin rash, and fatigue. In some people, West Nile fever can develop into a more serious form of the disease.
AVMVCD officials are urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and West Nile virus by following these recommendations:
- Check property for standing water and get rid of it.
- Use CDC recommended insect repellents when outside during mosquito activity (DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535).
- Make sure window screens and doors are in good repair.
- Check around faucets and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days.
- Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD.
- Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or at www.westnile.ca.gov.
The California Department of Public Health as of Sept. 21 reported that 445 dead birds, 1,802 mosquito samples, 122 sentinel chickens, and eight horses tested positive for West Nile virus in California. They also reported 100 human cases of West Nile Virus with four fatalities.
To stay up-to-date on new West Nile Virus activity in the Antelope Valley and for mosquito=related information, visit www.avmosquito.org, For more information, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.]