LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District was informed that a second dead bird found in the Antelope Valley has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The dead raven was spotted near Avenue M-8 and 45th Street West and reported to the State’s Dead Bird Hotline (www.westnile.ca.gov) on July 9, 2014.
“Our pool team will be going door to door in that area this week to make sure there are no dirty pools creating mosquito problems,” said District Manager Cei Kratz. “We urge all residents to keep their pools maintained or dry to avoid mosquito breeding. A single unkempt pool can produce thousands of mosquitoes a day, and they will infest the entire neighborhood.”
So far the Antelope Valley has two West Nile virus positive dead birds for 2014.
The first sign of West Nile virus was reported earlier this month, when a dead bird found near Avenue S and 10th Street East in Palmdale tested positive for West Nile virus.
As of July 18, 2014, the California Department of Public Health reports West Nile virus activity from 33 Counties in 708 dead birds, 775 mosquito samples, 14 sentinel chickens and 11 human cases..
West Nile virus is a potentially debilitating disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Even “mild”cases of West Nile fever can cause patients enormous pain and discomfort for months.
The first human death attributed to West Nile virus infection in the Antelope Valley was reported last fall. The victim was a West Lancaster man in his 70s who was hospitalized with encephalitis in late September 2013 and died shortly thereafter. Read more here.
District officials urge residents to take individual responsibility, and remember the 3 D’s to protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus:
- DRAIN all standing water – Empty out small containers at least once a week, keep pools and spas chlorinated or drained, and repair all water leaks. Conserve water and prevent mosquito breeding.
- DUSK and DAWN – are peak activity times for mosquitoes.
- DEFEND yourself – wear long sleeved shirts and pants and use mosquito repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 when outdoors during mosquito activity. Always follow instructions on the product label.
Also remember to:
- Check your property for any standing water from sprinklers or thunder showers.
- Turn on fans to keep mosquitoes away.
- Keep tight fitting screens on doors and windows in good repair. Close them to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Avoid using bug zappers near your patio – they attract more mosquitoes than they kill
- Get free mosquito-eating fish (Gambusia affinis) for fish ponds, pools, and horse troughs.
- Vaccinate your horses properly.
- Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD.
- Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For further questions or services, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917 or visit www.avmosquito.org.
(Information via press release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.)
Previous related story: First signs of West Nile virus in the AV for 2014