LANCASTER – Mosquitoes collected from a mosquito trap in Lancaster recently tested positive for West Nile virus, marking the first positive sample reported in the Antelope Valley this year, authorities announced. The trap was placed near 40th Street East and Avenue J-8, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.
“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 about personal mosquito control measures,” said District Manager Leann Verdick.
Hot weather is ideal to breeding mosquitoes because stagnant water turns green more quickly and mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in just five days. People bitten by an infected mosquito may develop West Nile fever and experience flulike 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 and can even be fatal. AVMVCD officials are urging local resident do their part to get rid of or treat standing water so that the entire community can benefit from less mosquitoes and less chances of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus.
AVMVCD personnel will continue to conduct intensive searches of the area surrounding the latest West Nile virus detection 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. An aerial flyover was conducted last week, and residents will start receiving pool notices soon.
“This process of identifying unmaintained swimming pools is especially important with the first 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.”
Local residents who receive a pool notice in error should respond according to the instructions on the notice or visit
www.avmosquito.org/clean-pools-healthy-communities/ for more information. AVMVCD 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 according to label instructions.
- If weather permits, wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
- 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 daytime biting mosquitoes to the AVMVCD at 661-942-2917.
- 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).
To stay up-to-date on West Nile Virus activity in the Antelope Valley and other mosquito related information visit www.avmosquito.org
[Information via news release from the the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.]