Placer County urges mosquito precautions following West Nile virus cases
While West Nile activity typically begins in early summer, it can continue to peak into the fall.
“Even in these last days of summer, West Nile virus can be a threat,” said Placer County Health Officer Dr. Rob Oldham. “These cases are rare but a tragic reminder of the need to stay vigilant.”
Human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in 21 Californian counties this year, with deaths in Placer, Glenn and Yuba counties. There have been seven cases in Placer so far this season, including one death.
In recent weeks, the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District has expanded aerial mosquito treatment in Roseville, Lincoln and western Placer agricultural areas.
"This season, we saw a higher than average infection rate for West Nile virus in our mosquito population and we also saw increased West Nile virus activity in more populated areas. These two factors increase the risk for West Nile virus transmission to humans," said Joel Buettner, the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District general manager. "West Nile virus prevention is a shared responsibility. Our agency monitors and manages mosquito populations all year round. We count on our residents to do their part to protect themselves, as well."
Officials recommend that residents prevent exposure to mosquito bites and West Nile virus by practicing the “three Ds”:
1. DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children at least 2 months old.
2. Dawn and dusk – Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and night so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
3. Drain – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, call the district at 888-768-2343.
For more information about West Nile virus, call Placer County Public Health at 530-889-7141 or visit the state’s West Nile website at westnile.ca.gov. Residents are encouraged to report all dead birds on the state website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473).
For information about mosquitoes and mosquito control efforts, contact the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District at 888-768-2343 or visit placermosquito.org.