REMEMBER TO USE MOSQUITO REPELLENT TO PROTECT AGAINST WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV)
LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Lake County Vector Control District and Lake County Public Health Department
We have had no WNV or other mosquito-borne diseases detected yet in Lake County in 2018. Our local mosquito activity is lower than average right now.
Statewide, WNV and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV) activity are increasing, which is typical for this time of the year. In Lake County, we usually detect our first WNV activity 2-3 weeks after the Sacramento Valley (our nights are cooler and that slows the virus replication in the mosquitoes, and also lengthens the generation time for mosquitoes, so it takes longer for our local virus activity to rise to detectable levels).
Lake County Public Health Officer, Dr. Sara Goldgraben notes “Warm weather is a great reason to be outdoors. West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. When outdoors, protection against mosquito bites is important to staying healthy and the best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection. ”
“The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus come from backyard water sources like wading pools, ponds, buckets, swimming pools and spas that aren’t being maintained, and any other place where water sits for more than 3 days,” explained Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., District Manager and Research Director for the Lake County Vector Control District. “You can protect your family from mosquito bites and West Nile virus by dumping out water where mosquitoes grow and keeping swimming pools and spas in working order. The District has free mosquito-eating fish for pools or spas that aren’t running, as well as water features and animal watering troughs.
“West Nile virus is found in local mosquitoes and dead birds every year. District staff are trapping mosquitoes throughout Lake County and testing them for West Nile and other viruses. Residents can help us detect West Nile virus by reporting dead birds to the State’s Dead Bird Hotline,” advised Dr. Scott.
Residents are urged to help reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these preventive guidelines:
- Dump or drain standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can't begin their lives without water.
- Defend yourself. Use mosquito repellent that contains one of these EPA-registered active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), or Para-menthane-diol (PMD) to avoid mosquito bites.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
- Maintain swimming pools and spas. Just one unmaintained swimming pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away.
- Report dead birds to the state dead bird hotline: 1-877-968-2473 or www.westnile.ca.gov. You can also visit the California Department of Public Health's website. All reports are crucial to our West Nile virus surveillance program.
Since 2004, nine Lake County residents have been diagnosed with West Nile. For a current list of West Nile virus activity in Lake County this year, visit the District's website (www.LCVCD.org) and for statewide information, visit the California Department of Public Health’s West Nile Virus website at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/.
The Lake County Vector Control District, is an independent special district and public health agency which serves all of Lake County. Call the Vector Control District if you are being bit by mosquitoes or have questions about mosquitoes, ticks, or the diseases they transmit. We can be reached at (707) 263-4770 or request service online at http://www.LCVCD.org/Services/RequestService/index.html. You can also visit the office between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 410 Esplanade in Lakeport to get free mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, livestock water troughs, or neglected swimming pools.