|Placer County’s public health officer, along with the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District, are reminding residents to continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, after two recent human cases of neuroinvasive West Nile virus.While West Nile activity typically begins in early summer, it can continue to peak into the fall.
“While most people with West Nile may not feel sick, or have mild symptoms, about 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious illness,” said Dr. Rob Oldham, the county’s interim health officer. “Taking simple measures to prevent mosquito bites can mitigate this risk.”
Across the state, human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in more than 15 counties this year. In recent weeks, the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District has completed aerial and ground-based treatments in west Placer County agricultural areas where West Nile virus risk was detected.
“Although mosquito activity begins to slow and West Nile virus detections decrease as we enter fall, it’s important for residents to continue to protect themselves from bites while West Nile circulates in the county,” said Jacob Hartle, Placer Mosquito’s assistant district manager. Treatment update information and District activities can be found on the Placer Mosquito website.
Officials recommend that people 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 2 months of age and older.
2. DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes often bite in the early morning and evening 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. DUMP AND 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, please contact the district at 916-380-5444.
For more information about West Nile virus, visit the state of California’s website on West Nile. Residents are encouraged to report all dead birds on that website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473).