West Nile Virus Alert in San Diego County!

County environmental health officials have reminded residents to take precautions against mosquito bites after a recent positive West Nile virus test on mosquitoes collected from the northern end of Los Peasquitos Lagoon which borders Del Mar and parts of San Diego. In order to prevent mosquito breeding, residents are encouraged to continue to follow the County’s “Prevent,Protect,Report” rules which include locating any pools of water near their homes and draining them. 

 This is the first time this year that the disease has shown up in mosquitoes. However no cases of West Nile virus in humans that were contracted locally have been reported. 

 Mild symptoms, such as a headache, fever, nausea, exhaustion, skin rash or swollen glands may appear in infected patients. However, West Nile virus can cause severe illness and even death in some people. Forty-four people in San Diego County tested positive for West Nile virus in 2015, resulting in six deaths. 

 Mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus to humans after feeding on an infected animal, most commonly birds and then biting humans.In San Diego County, it’s always vital to take precautions against mosquito bites. Mosquitoes prefer to live and reproduce in close proximity to humans including in yards and houses.Biting an infected person is the only way for certain invasive species to spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue and Zika which are not native to this area. 

Officials from the county stressed again the need of citizens taking precautions against mosquitoes and diseases by according to the county’s “Prevent, Protect, Report” guidelines.

Don’t let mosquitoes spawn 

Everything that can collect water including plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires and wheelbarrows, should be emptied or removed from the premises. The Vector Control Program can provide free mosquito fish for use in eliminating mosquito larvae in backyard pools, ponds, fountains, and horse troughs. 

Prevent mosquito bites by taking precautions

West Nile virus
Mosquito macro photography

Wearing long sleeves and pants or using insect repellent can help protect you from mosquito-borne illnesses. DEET, picaridin, the oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are all effective ingredients to look for in an insect repellent. Keep bugs out by checking that all window and door screens are in working order and properly fastened.

Report any potential mosquito activity or dead birds.

Call the Environmental Health Division’s Vector Control Program at (858) 694-2888 or send an email to vector@sdcounty.ca.gov if you see an increase in mosquito activity or any stagnant, green swimming pools or other mosquito-breeding sources, or if you come across any dead birds, including crows, ravens, jays, hawks, and owls

Visit SDFightTheBite.com, the official website of San Diego County’s “Fight the Bite” campaign, for advice on how to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

In order to prevent your pond from becoming a mosquito breeding ground, consider the following advice:

Leave a Comment