Mosquitoes recently discovered in Palm Desert and Indian Wells have tested positive for West Nile virus, local vector control officials said Friday.
The two samples, collected from traps near Portola Avenue and Shadow Mountain Drive and Fairway Drive and Cook Street in Indian Wells, tested positive Thursday, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
The Indian Wells trap location was also where vector control officials recently discovered two other positive samples, the first to be found in the Coachella Valley this year.
District officials say that surveillance and testing will be increased in communities near the trap location, and advised residents to take caution when venturing outside during the early mornings and evenings.
“When the temperatures are high like they are right now, many of us are out in the early morning and evening to get some fresh air when the temperatures are cooler,” district spokeswoman Jill Oviatt said. “That’s exactly when these virus-carrying mosquitoes are out and looking for someone to bite, so it is important that people protect themselves by covering up with long sleeves and pants and applying repellent on exposed skin.”
The increased control operations will include truck-mounted spraying beginning Saturday through Monday, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Spraying will occur in residential areas between Highway 111, Portola Avenue, Rancho Palmeras Drive and Vintage Drive.
Officials advised residents to also inspect their yards for any standing water sources, which can serve as mosquito breeding sites.
Most who are infected with West Nile virus experience no illness, but officials said some will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. Rare cases include hospitalization or death. Young children, the elderly and those with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of severe symptoms.
Any local mosquito problems should be reported to CVMVCD at (760) 342-8287.