By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Division of Environmental Health Service’s Mosquito and Vector Control Program (MVCP) has confirmed mosquitos collected on June 16, 2015 in Rialto tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). WNV is a virus transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. These are the first positive WNV indicators in 2015 within the area served by the MVCP. The program conducts active surveillance on vector-borne diseases, monitors and treats all known water sources where mosquito breeding may occur to eliminate mosquito breeding hazards.
Dead birds can also be another sign that WNV is present in an area. The California Department of Public Health encourages the public to participate in the West Nile virus surveillance program by reporting dead birds to the State West Nile virus toll-free hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD, or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
Those infected with West Nile fever may experience flu-like symptoms that can include fever, body aches, skin rash, and fatigue. In some individuals, West Nile fever can develop into a more serious form of the disease. If you have been bitten by mosquitoes and are experiencing these symptoms, contact your medical care provider.
Residents can protect themselves from WNV by following these tips:
• Drain or Dump – Remove all standing water around your property where mosquitos can lay eggs such as birdbaths, green swimming pools, ponds, old tires, buckets, flower pots, clogged gutters, or even puddles from leaky sprinklers.
• Dawn and Dusk – Avoid spending time outside when mosquitos are most active.
• Dress – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.
• DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET according to manufacturer’s directions.
• Doors – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.
The steps being taken by MVCP in response to this discovery are in line with the Countywide Vision to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors. Information on the Countywide Vision can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.
To learn more about West Nile Virus, visit http://www.cdc.gov/westnile.
For more information or to report a green pool or mosquito breeding source, contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph/