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King Fire Update: The King Fire is currently at 82,018 acres with 10% containment. The following intersections are closed to the public: Mosquito Ridge at Gorman Ranch, Foresthill Divide at Soda Springs, and Foresthill Divide at Deadwood. IRONMAN cancellation supported by Placer County Health Officials. Public Information line is currently staffed at 530-886-5310 to handle inquiries. More »

Vector Control

A Vector is any organism that carries and transmits disease-causing pathogens from one host to another. Common vectors include:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Birds
  • Rodents
  • Ticks
  • Bats

Vector-Borne Diseases in Placer County

Plague

Plague is naturally occurring in Placer County, typically found in the higher elevations. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected rodent flea. Plague is treatable with antibiotics, but if not detected early, can lead to more severe and sometimes fatal illness.

Look for and heed warning signs in campgrounds during the the summer months. Do not feed rodents in campgrounds and picnic areas, and avoid camping near animal burrows.

Resources

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control

Placer Mosquito & Vector Control District

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is most commonly spread by mosquitoes with most infections occurring during the summer months from June to September. Several ways to help protect yourself from West Nile Virus include:

  • Remove all standing, stagnant water from around your home.
  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535 typically provide longer lasting protection.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk through dawn.
  • Repair screens on windows and doors, or cool your home with air conditioning.
  • Do not handle dead birds.

If you find any dead birds, please report it by phone at 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473).

Resources

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control

Placer Mosquito & Vector Control District

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected western black-legged tick. Infection can be spread by both the nymph (young) and adult ticks. Nymphs are about the size of a poppy seed and found in low moist leaf litter and logs. Adult ticks climb to the tips of vegetation and wait for a host to brush up against them. Several ways to protect yourself from tick bites include:

  • Avoid known tick infested areas.
  • Stay on the trail when hiking. Avoid grassy areas, logs, and fallen tree limbs.
  • Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your boots.
  • Wear light colored clothing to help spot any ticks.
  • Use insect repellents registered effective against ticks.
  • Thoroughly check yourself and others for up to three days after activity in heavily infested areas.

Lyme disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics if caught early enough. The potential for long-term complications increases if the disease progresses untreated.

If you have been bitten by a tick and want to have it tested, contact the Public Health Lab.

Resources

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control

Placer Mosquito & Vector Control District

Hantavirus

Infection with hantavirus can lead to Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome (HCPS or HPS), a very severe and potentially fatal disease. Hantavirus is carried by rodents such as deer mice. Transmission is typically airborne. Stirred up droppings and urine carry virus particles into the air, which are then inhaled. It can also be spread through bites, eating food contaminated with droppings or urine, or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your nose or mouth without washing your hands.

The best way to prevent hantavirus infection is to minimize contact with rodents.  

  • Seal up gaps that may allow rodent entry into your home.
  • Place traps in and around your home.
  • Clean up food and water spills in your home to prevent attracting rodents.
  • If cleaning up rodent messes, be sure to wear respiratory protection and clean gently to prevent kicking up dust.

Resources

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control

Placer Mosquito & Vector Control District

If you have questions or concerns regarding bats, squirrels or other animals, please contact Animal Services.

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