LANCASTER – A sample of mosquitoes collected from a mosquito trap in Lancaster has tested positive for West Nile Virus, authorities announced Friday.
The positive mosquito samples came from a trap located near 57th Street West and Avenue L, and it is the first sign of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in the Antelope Valley this year, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.
“This is a reminder that West Nile Virus is active in the Antelope Valley,” said 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 of or treat standing water, the entire community will benefit from less mosquitoes and less chances of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus.”
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 personnel has been conducting intensive searches of the entire District to keep mosquito populations low and reduce the chances of residents getting ill. This includes door-to-door pool inspections to ensure pools are either clean and maintained or completely dry.
Officials are urging residents to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations:
- Check property for standing water and get rid of it.
- When mosquitoes are active, use EPA registered insect repellents that contain one of these main ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535.
- Make sure screens on windows 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 at 661-942-2917.
- Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
The California Department of Public Health as of July 18 reported that 20 dead birds, 582 mosquito samples, and one human tested positive for West Nile Virus across 16 counties in California. At this time last year, there were 67 dead birds, 171 mosquito samples, seven Sentinel chickens and 10 humans across 21 counties that tested positive for WNV.
To stay up-to-date on new West Nile Virus activity in the Antelope Valley and any mosquito-related information, visit at www.avmosquito.org or contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.]