Two mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus, a reminder, Placer County
officials say, that residents should take action to protect themselves against being bitten by mosquitoes that transmit the disease.
The infected mosquitoes were found in western Placer County, just outside the community of Sheridanand the city of Lincoln.
Fortunately there have been no human cases of West Nilevirus discovered this year in the county. However last year, there were eight confirmed cases, discovered mostly beginning in August. Also one horse acquired the disease.
"Finding these infected mosquitoes reinforces the need for residents to take common-sense protective actions against mosquito bites," said Mitch Bernstein, Manager for the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District. "Particularly, people should be checking for mosquito breeding sites in their yards and gardens, such as bird baths, pools and small ponds.”
Most people who get West Nilevirus from infected mosquitoes won't become ill. But about 20 percent may experience mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms which may be prolonged.
About one in 150 people will become very ill. People over 50 and people with suppressed or compromised immune systems are more likely to become seriously ill. West Nilevirus is rare, but people with symptoms, including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, should contact their health care provider immediately. In Californialast year, there were 935 human cases.
“Prevention remains the key,” stressed Bernstein. “We must rely on people to get out in their yards and eliminate the standing water where mosquitoes are breeding. It’s the best way to help protect your family, your community and help the District. If you need our help, please call us at 916-435-2140.”
The Placer Mosquito & Vector Control District and Placer County Health and Human Services offer the following additional reminders to prevent the spread of West Nilevirus:
- Drain standing water weekly, since that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Check your yard for water in old tires, flower pots and bird baths.
- Avoid mosquito bites by staying indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long sleeves and long pants, and using an insect repellant that contains DEET or picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dead birds that test positive for West Nilevirus are a surveillance tool to help track the disease. If you find a dead bird, please call the state at 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) to report it, or do so online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
- Horses are vulnerable to West Nilevirus, and many die. Contact your veterinarian about protective immunizations. West Niledoes not spread between humans and horses.
For more information or free presentations or materials, call the Placer Mosquito & Vector Control District at 916-435-2140. You can also obtain good information online at www.placermosquito.org or www.placer.ca.gov/wnv.