The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMVCD) is advising Shasta County residents that West Nile virus is now widespread throughout the District. Since our first reported WNv positive, the virus has now been detected in six birds, three mosquito samples, and three sentinel chickens scattered over a broad area of central Shasta County. “More suspect samples are waiting to be tested, and new WNv indicators are being found on a daily basis,” says Vector Ecologist John Albright. WNv is spread in the environment in a cycle between infected birds and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can spread WNv to humans and horses where it can cause disease and even death. Elevated WNv risk will continue until cooler temperatures reduce mosquito breeding and slow disease transmission.
“We are just heading into the peak West Nile virus transmission season and it is important that people take the proper precautions when enjoying outdoor activities in Shasta County. The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District continues to perform enhanced, mosquito control in areas where samples indicate ongoing WNv activity,” stated District Manager Peter Bonkrude. Last year, 479 people were sickened and 20 died in California alone.
SMVCD staff urges residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites; reducing activity during the peak mosquito feeding times at dawn and dusk, wearing effective insect repellent, and staying behind screened windows and doors whenever possible. The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District advises the public to implement the 3 Ds of protection:
- Drain any standing water that may produce mosquitoes.
- Defend yourself and your home by using an effective insect repellent and dressing protectively when outside and making sure screens on doors and windows are in good condition.
- Contact the District for any additional help controlling mosquito around your home.
For more information, contact the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District at (530) 365-3768 or www.shastamosquito.org
2013 Shasta County West Nile virus activity update: 6 dead birds, 3 sentinel chickens, 3 mosquito samples, 0 horses and 0 humans have tested positive for West Nile virus to date. Statewide virus activity update: 452 dead birds, 98 sentinel chickens, 1,007 mosquito samples, 3 horse and 14 humans have tested positive for West Nile virus to August 2.
-from press release