Posted on August 3, 2018
Conlin Reis, Manager
Fresno Westside Mosquito
August 3, 2018
FIRST DETECTION OF WEST NILE VIRUS IN WESTERN FRESNO COUNTY FOR THE 2018 SEASON
FIREBAUGH, CALIFORNIA – The Fresno Westside Mosquito Abatement District is asking residents to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites and prevent mosquito production after the first detection of West Nile virus in mosquito samples this season. Mosquitoes trapped in the area of Helm and east of the City of Mendota tested positive for West Nile virus earlier this week. In 2017, a total of 135 mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus and another 45 mosquito samples tested positive St. Louis encephalitis virus. 2017 marked the first year of significant detection of St. Louis encephalitis virus in the region since the arrival of West Nile virus in the early 2000’s. St. Louis encephalitis virus has already been detected in 2018 in the City of Fresno and is expected to recur in the western portions of the county. Both of these viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes of Culex genus, which can develop in wide variety of urban and rural standing water sources.
“While this summer has thus far been relatively mild for disease activity, residents should still take precautions to reduce the nuisance and disease risk posed by mosquitoes,” says Conlin Reis, District Manager of the Fresno Westside Mosquito Abatement District. “Eliminating sources of standing water around the home and wearing EPA-approved mosquito repellents during periods of peak activity will go a long way toward keeping mosquitoes from ruining your summer plans.”
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and exposed to mosquito-borne viruses including SLEV or WNV, residents are urged to take the following precautions:
- Drain all sources of standing water around your home. Remove unnecessary objects from around your home that can potentially hold water.
- Report observed sources of standing water (i.e. unmaintained swimming pools) and mosquito activity to the Fresno Westside Mosquito Abatement District (559) 659-2437 or at www.fresnowestmosquito.com..
- Irrigation water on farms and other lands should not be allowed to stand for more than four days.
- Report dead birds to 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or www.westnile.gov.
- Repair window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings.
- Wear long sleeves and pants if outdoors when mosquitoes are present.
- Use a repellent containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin or IR3535, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Always read and follow the repellent label instructions.
- Stock mosquitofish in domestic water features, such as backyard ponds and horse troughs. The District will stock mosquitofish, at no cost, in water sources where they are likely to be effective.
For more information on St Louis encephalitis virus:
California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/StLouisEncephalitisFactSheet.pdf
Center for Disease Control:
For more information on West Nile virus:
California Department of Public Health
Center for Disease Control:Download a Copy of the Press Release