Riverside County has confirmed that mosquitos collected from the city of San Jacinto tested positive for West Nile virus.
The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health received confirmation July 21 from the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District testing lab that mosquitos collected at the San Jacinto location tested positive. The samples were collected July 12 from the Sanderson and Cottonwood area.
It is not unusual for mosquitos in parts of Riverside County to test positive for the virus, especially during the summer. In 2015, 17 samples out of 713 tested positive.
The virus can be transmitted to humans and some animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most individuals who are infected will not experience any illness. Others will have only mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. However, young children, the elderly or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of more severe symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should contact their health care provider.
The department’s vector-control staff has intensified mosquito surveillance, as well efforts to control adult and larval mosquitos in this area to reduce the mosquito populations and interrupt the disease transmission cycle. Residents are encouraged to take an active role to reduce the threat of West Nile virus in their neighborhoods.
• Protect yourself against mosquito bites by using insect repellent. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months old and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under three years old.
• Be aware of peak mosquito hours. Dawn and dusk are peak biting times for many mosquitos. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities during that time. Report any day biting mosquitos to vector staff, stressing that you are being bitten during the day vs at dawn or dusk.
• Clothing can help prevent mosquito bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitos away from skin.
• Mosquito-proof your home. Drain standing water because mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places for mosquitos to breed by draining/discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty unused flowerpots and wading pools. Change water in birdbaths and pet bowls at least weekly.
• Keep mosquitos outside by having tightly fitting screens on all windows and doors.
Contact the Riverside County Vector Control program at (951) 766-9454 or your local vector-control district to report mosquito problems, request mosquito fish and report neglected pools or standing water as potential mosquito sources. Visit the department online at www.rivcoeh.org or our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RiversideCountyEH/ to obtain more information.