First sign of West Nile in Valley Reported for 2014

Positive samples collected from 2 traps in East Valley

Indio, Calif. - The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District received confirmation from the Center for Vectorborne Diseases at U.C. Davis that three mosquito samples from the Coachella Valley tested positive for West Nile virus.

The positive mosquito samples were collected from two different traps on July 14, 2014 – one located near the corner of Avenue 70 and Garfield Street and the other located near the corner of Avenue 73 and Vander Veer Road.

District staff will post disease notification signs in communities located in nearby communities and they will intensify mosquito surveillance and larval control in the areas surrounding the site of the mosquito traps in an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt further transmission of disease.

Vector Control urges Valley residents to protect themselves from West Nile virus.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites:

  • Apply Insect Repellent. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under three years of age.  
  • Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. Dawn and dusk are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities during that time.
  • Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from skin.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places for mosquitoes to breed by draining/discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools. Change water in birdbaths and pet bowls at least weekly.
  • Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

West Nile virus is the leading cause of encephalitis in the United States and is transmitted to animals and humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get infected when they feed on birds carrying the virus. Most individuals who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have only mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. However, young children, the elderly, or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of experiencing more severe symptoms when infected. Anyone with symptoms should contact their health care provider. In 2013, 15 deaths and 379 human cases of West Nile virus were reported in California.

Please contact the District at (760) 342-8287 or (888) 343-9399 to report mosquito problems, request mosquitofish, report neglected pools or standing water where mosquitoes breed, and report dead birds. Visit us online at www.cvmvcd.org to obtain more information and submit service requests. For the latest statewide statistics for WNV activity, please visit http://westnile.ca.gov.

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