LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District urges residents to take precautions while enjoying outdoor celebrations this Labor Day weekend.
Two more mosquito samples as well as 22 sentinel chickens have tested positive for West Nile virus in the Antelope Valley. The chickens were from coops located in Palmdale, Quartz Hill and Lancaster and the mosquitoes were collected in Lancaster (view map here).
“August and September are usually the peak months for mosquito activity and disease transmission,” said District Manager Cei Kratz. “Labor Day weekend is traditionally a time to spend with family and friends enjoying BBQs and other outdoor activities. We advise residents to use insect repellents while outside in the evenings to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
As of Aug. 27, 2014, the California Department of Public Health reports West Nile Virus activity from 36 Counties in 1,643 dead birds, 2,305 mosquito samples, and 184 sentinel chickens, as well as 129 human cases with six fatalities.
So far the Antelope Valley has detected WNV activity in three dead birds, four mosquito samples, and 22 sentinel chickens.
To stay up-to-date on new WNV activity in the Antelope Valley and any mosquito related information, visit www.avmosquito.org.
West Nile virus is a potentially debilitating disease that’s 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.)
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