LANCASTER – Mosquitoes collected recently from two mosquito traps in Lancaster have tested positive for West Nile virus, authorities announced Monday. One trap was near 10th Street West and Avenue L, and the other trap was located near 3rd Street East and Avenue J, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.
“These positive mosquito samples are yet another reminder that West Nile Virus is active in the Antelope Valley,” said District Manager Cei Kratz.
Hot weather is ideal to breed mosquitoes quickly. Stagnant water turns green more quickly and mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in just five days. If residents 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, District officials said.
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 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 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.
District 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 Aug. 23 reported that 81 dead birds, 2,269 mosquito samples, 45 Sentinel chickens and 45 humans have tested positive for West Nile virus across 26 counties in California.. At this time last year, there were 363 dead birds, 1,296 mosquito samples, 76 Sentinel chickens and 31 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.]
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