COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif.- - A historic season has opened to door to possible "epidemic conditions" when it comes to the presence of virus-positive mosquitos in the Coachella Valley, according to a Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (CVMVCD) news release.
District testing has revealed that the mosquito population in the valley is especially high and that there has been an unprecedented number of samples coming up positive for both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV).
More than 180 mosquito samples have tested positive for the diseases in the valley this year. That's up from only about 25 positive samples detected last year.
"We have the conditions that are right for having people becoming sick,"
CVMVCD is planning a series of ultra-low volume (ULV) applications of mosquito treatments across the valley in an attempt to combat the problem.
In Indio, helicopter pesticides sprays are planned from June 27-29 between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.. Based on weather forecasts, the district expects the applications to occur between 3:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.
Section 1: The application area is within Long Cove Drive, Golf Center Parkway, Avenue 44, and Jackson Street, excluding agricultural areas and water bodies.
Section 2: The application area is within Avenue 44, Tourmaline Avenue, Dillon Avenue, and Jackson Street, excluding agricultural areas and water bodies.
Truck-mounted ULV applications are planned for June 26-28 in Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.:
Route 1: The application area is within Country Club Drive, Portola Avenue, San Remo Street, and Cholla Lane, excluding water bodies.
Route 2: The application area is within San Remo Street, Portola Avenue, Monterey Avenue, and Magnesia Falls Drive, excluding water bodies.
Truck-mounted ULV spraying is also planned in Palm Springs June 29-July 1 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.:
Route 1: The application area is within Mesquite Avenue, Gene Autry Trail, East Palm Canyon Drive, and Cerritos Drive.
Route 2: The application area is within Sunny Dunes Road, Vella Road, just south of Mesquite Avenue, and El Placer Road.
Samantha Thomas said she isn't taking any chances when it comes to West Nile and her kids.
"I make sure I use bug spray, and that I dump out all the water, and I keep my doors closed so no mosquitos come," Thomas said. "I don't want to wake up and my kids have been bitten by a mosquito and then they don't wake up and they’re dying from West Nile Virus… That’s pretty scary."
Aurelia Lopez lives in Indio, near one of the areas expected to be sprayed later this week. She said she supports the solution.
"If something that deadly like a mosquito could kill a person, why not destroy the mosquito," Lopez said.
Vector Control officials say they're working to keep the bugs at bay.
"We're doing really everything we have in our tool book to lower the risk to the people of the Coachella Valley," Wittie said.
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