For the 4th time since July 25th mosquitoes in Palm Springs have tested positive for West Nile virus says the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
In a release to Newchannel 3, vector control stated that West Nile virus continues to spread in Palm Springs. Another sample of mosquitoes caught in a trap on Camino Monte Vista has tested positive for West Nile virus.
This is the fourth sample of mosquitoes that has tested positive for the virus in Palm Springs since July 25th. The other samples were collected from two traps, one near the corner of East Vista Chino and North Palm Canyon Drive and the other near Vereda Sur and North Via Miraleste. This brings the total number of West Nile virus-positive mosquito samples in the Coachella Valley this year to 32, with the majority of positive activity near the Salton Sea just south of Mecca and two West Nile virus-positive mosquito samples from Indio.
Six more sentinel chickens in coops around the Salton Sea area also tested positive this week, bringing the total number of West Nile virus-positive sentinel chickens to 13 this year. "We are urging residents to be vigilant," says Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District Vector Ecologist, Gregory S.White, PhD. "Cover up at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are biting and dump out any water that may have accumulated in your yards during the recent rains."
District staff have intensified mosquito surveillance, searching out breeding sites within a mile of the traps where the infected mosquitoes were found, and conducting larval control and hand held treatments in those areas. District staff will also perform barrier treatments in areas identified as mosquito habitats around residential housing, hotels and resorts, and in the neighborhoods where positive samples were detected.
A light mist approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), target- specific, and used frequently by public health agencies will be applied on vegetation where mosquito are hiding and resting around buildings and front and back yards. These treatments will be carried out over the next few days, weather permitting, to reduce adult mosquito populations in the area.
The District will also send postcards to residents within a mile-radius of the traps in Palm Springs where the infected mosquitoes were found, alerting residents to be extra cautious and search for breeding sites in their own yards. These efforts will help to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt further disease transmission.
We encourage residents to take the following actions to help reduce the threat of West Nile virus in the Valley:
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
Apply Insect Repellent.
Use a repellent with DEET
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.
and 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.
WNV is transmitted to humans and animals, including sentinel chickens, through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have 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. 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.