1st West Nile activity detected in La Salle County

Henrietta Brewer
July 22, 2019

With three separate mosquito pools from three different locations throughout the county being confirmed as positive, it is imperative to be alert and take protective measures against West Nile virus.

Water left standing for more than a week in containers like flower pots, fountains and pet dishes, or in unmaintained pools, can become a breeding habitat for mosquitoes, health officials said.

Those who contract West Nile can suffer symptoms ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to death.

The La Salle County Health Department received confirmation mosquitoes from Peru tested positive for West Nile virus - the first documented West Nile activity in the county this year.

"This is the time of year we expect to see West Nile virus activity increase", said Chris Pozzi, director of environmental health.

The virus is usually passed to mosquitos from infected wild birds rather than infected humans and those most at risk of developing severe symptoms are people aged over 50, immunosuppressed patients and persons with chronic illnesses. "The best way to protect yourself against illness is to wear insect repellent and to get rid of any stagnant water around your home to reduce the number of mosquitoes". The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.

When mosquitoes are active, use EPA registered insect repellents that contain one of these main ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535. The symptoms can last for several days to months.

Wearing loose-fitting long sleeves and trousers can also help deter bites.

Remove standing water whenever possible. GLACVCD would like to remind residents that even the smallest water source can contribute to a large public health problem.

Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.

The district reported there were 211 human cases and 11 fatalities in California past year. Our mission is to reduce populations of public health vectors below nuisance levels and prevent human infection associated with mosquito-transmitted diseases.

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