LANCASTER – Mosquitoes collected from a mosquito trap in Lancaster recently tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.
The trap was near 15th Street West and Avenue K, and the mosquito samples were tested at the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District laboratory.
“Despite the challenges that accompany the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, our District remains dedicated to mosquito control in the community. These positive mosquito samples are a good reminder that West Nile Virus is active in the Antelope Valley and that residents need to be vigilant,” 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. The District is reminding the community that mosquito control is a shared responsibility of the property owner and the District. 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, like West Nile virus.
By the end of the 2019 mosquito season, seven mosquito samples within District boundaries had tested positive for West Nile virus and one mosquito tested positive for Saint Louis Encephalitis, a viral disease spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.
AVMVCD personnel will continue to conduct intensive searches of the entire District to keep mosquito populations low and reduce the chances of residents getting ill. This includes following up with residents who have been identified as having unmaintained swimming pools.
The District monitors pools to ensure they are clean and maintained or completely dry. Reducing these major mosquito breeding sources means reducing the mosquito population.
“This process is especially important with the detection of West Nile virus this season,” said Brenna Bates-Grubb, Community Outreach Specialist for the AVMVCD. “It makes the need for residents to do their part that much more urgent.”
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.
The District urges 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 to avoid mosquitoes in the home.
- 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 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
To stay up-to-date on new West Nile Virus activity in the Antelope Valley and any mosquito-related information visit www.avmosquito.org. For further questions or services, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.]