San Jacento, CA
Mosquitoes recently netted in San Jacinto tested positive for West Nile virus, prompting health officials today to remind residents to take precautions.
According to the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health, a mosquito sample collected last week in the area of Cottonwood and Sanderson avenues, on the north end of the city, was sent to a lab and the results revealed the presence of WNV.
Mosquito colonies carrying the virus have also been identified in Eastvale, Norco and Palm Springs over the last three months.
There have been no human cases of West Nile infection so far this year in Riverside County or elsewhere in California, according to the state Department of Public Health.
In 2015, there were 5,588 cases statewide, resulting in 229 WNV-related deaths.
At least one person died from complications linked to the virus in Riverside County last year.
The county maintains an online map showing West Nile hotspots: http://www.rivcoph.org/Home/WestNileMap.aspx .
Mosquitoes typically become carriers of the virus after feeding on an infected bird and can then spread the potentially lethal strain to animals and humans.
Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Symptoms may never materialize, but can include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans the months of May to October.
To reduce exposure to West Nile virus, residents are urged to:
— spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move;
— wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity;
— use insect repellent;
— ensure door and window screens are fitted properly to keep bugs out; and
— get rid of standing water, aside from pools properly treated with chemicals.
More information is available at http://www.rivcoeh.org/Programs/vector .