WEST NILE VIRUS ON THE RISE IN MECCA
June 23, 2017
Public Information Manager
WEST NILE VIRUS ACTIVITY ON THE RISE IN MECCA
In two weeks, 33 samples of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV; District to start truck-mounted ULV to bring down mosquito populations and virus circulation.
INDIO, CA, JUNE 23, 2017: Eleven samples of mosquitoes tested yesterday in the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District laboratory are positive for West Nile virus (WVN), bringing the total number of WNV-positive mosquito samples in the Coachella Valley to 37 this year. The samples included more than 500 mosquitoes from six traps in Mecca along Lincoln Street between 63rd Avenue and 5th Street. This comes after two weeks of steady positive results for virus in nearly three dozen samples in the same vicinity. At this same time last year, only eight mosquito samples had tested positive for the virus in the entire Coachella Valley.
In an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt virus transmission, the District will start truck-mounted ultra-low volume (ULV) applications in residential areas where the mosquitoes were trapped between Lincoln Street, 62nd Avenue, Johnson Street, and 66thavenue. Applications are scheduled Saturday through Wednesday, June 24-28 between 3:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., weather permitting. District staff have posted disease notification and ULV signs in the area and continue enhanced mosquito surveillance and control as necessary to reduce the number of mosquitoes. Route maps and additional information about the applications are available atwww.cvmvcd.org/
“When it comes to mosquitoes, the hot topic is the species that can transmit Zika virus, but the reality right now in the Coachella Valley is that West Nile virus is active and spreading among our local mosquito population,” said Jill Oviatt, Public Information Manager at the District. “We urge residents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves in the early morning and evening hours, to prevent bites that could infect them with a serious illness.”
WNV is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes are infected when they feed on birds carrying the virus. Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. In severe cases, people will need to be hospitalized, and in rare cases the disease can be fatal. Young children, the elderly, or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of experiencing severe symptoms when infected. Anyone with symptoms should contact their health care provider.
In an effort to alert residents of the virus threat, District staff have dropped off flyers, mosquito repellent, fly swatters, and education materials to area community and health centers, and a mobile home park.
All control products used by the District are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for the purpose of controlling mosquitoes and protecting public health. The products are applied according to label instructions by trained and certified technicians. Although the District’s mosquito control products pose low risk, some people may prefer to avoid exposure by staying inside or away from the area during and for 30 minutes following the application.
Community commitment to removing standing water sources both inside and outside the home is critical to controlling mosquitoes in the Coachella Valley.
Prevent mosquitoes around your home:
- Inspect yards for standing water sources and drain water that may have collected under potted plants, in bird baths, discarded tires, and any other items that could collect water.
- Check your rain gutters and lawn drains to make sure they aren’t holding water and debris.
- Clean and scrub bird baths and pet watering dishes weekly.
- Check and clean any new potted plant containers that you bring home because they may have eggs. Some mosquito eggs can remain viable in dry areas for months.
Prevent mosquito bites:
- Avoid going outside when mosquitoes are active.
- Apply repellents containing EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label).
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
As of June 16, 2017, WNV has been detected in 14 counties in California, in 157 mosquito samples, 25 birds, and two people. Please contact the District at (760) 342-8287 to report mosquito problems, neglected pools, standing water where mosquitoes breed, and to request mosquitofish. Please report dead birds to the West Nile Virus Hotline at (877) 968-2473. Visit us online at www.cvmvcd.org to obtain more information and submit service requests. For the latest statewide statistics for WNV activity, please visithttp://westnile.ca.gov.