LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reports two mosquito samples collected this week in the Rancho Vista area tested positive for West Nile Virus.
“In a special meeting that was held yesterday, the Board of Trustees was informed by District staff that WNV infection numbers are well in range of other years,” said Board President Dennis Persons. “The number of positives are actually lower than they have been for the last three years for this time of year.”
The Antelope Valley so far has seen 16 positive chickens and two mosquito samples.
“Although temperatures are getting lower, we urge residents to continue to take precautions against mosquito bites,” said District Manager Cei Kratz. “These precautions include removing standing water and using repellent while outside at dusk and dawn.”
West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who are infected do not show any symptoms, however, West Nile Virus is a potentially debilitating disease. Even mild cases of West Nile fever can cause patients enormous pain and discomfort for months. Older adults and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for complications than others. In 2013, West Nile Virus contributed to the death of a West Lancaster man in his 70s. [Read more here.]
The California Department of Public Health, as of Sept. 16, reported West Nile Virus activity from 40 counties in 786 dead birds, 2,444 mosquito samples, and 235 sentinel chickens, as well as 123 human cases with two fatalities. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department reports a total of 30 human cases and two deaths.
Tips to avoid mosquito bites, West Nile Virus infection
District officials are urging residents to follow these tips to avoid getting mosquito bites and West Nile Virus infection:
- Check your property for any standing water from sprinklers or thunder showers, and dump or drain all standing water.
- Dress in light-colored long-sleeved clothes during mosquito activity. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.
- Defend against mosquitoes by use repellents (i.e., DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535).
- Turn on fans to keep mosquitoes away.
- Keep screen doors and windows in good repair and close them.
- Don’t use 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.
To stay up-to-date on West Nile Virus activity and mosquito-related information in the Antelope Valley, visit www.avmosquito.org.
For more information, call 661-942-2917.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.]
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