Mosquitoes in Pomona tested positive for West Nile virus, officials with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District announced Monday.
After discovering the presence of the mosquito-borne disease in a routine test, control officials encouraged residents to take action now to prevent an outbreak from spreading in their communities.
“West Nile virus is endemic, which means we’ll detect it every year in our communities,” said SGVMVCD Scientific Program Manager Melissa Doyle. “As the season heats up, everyone should take the necessary steps to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate stagnant water around their home.”
One in five individuals infected with the WNV, for which there is no cure, will exhibit symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or skin rash. The symptoms can last for several days to months.
One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death. Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Doyle urged everyone to take the following actions to stay healthy and bite-free:
— Tip out stagnant water around the home weekly;
— Toss unused containers that can hold stagnant water; and
— Protect against bites by using insect repellent containing CDC-recommended Picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
“It only takes one bite for a mosquito carrying West Nile virus to get you sick,” warned SGVMVCD Public Information Officer Levy Sun. “Don’t take your chances.”
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans May to October.
“Mosquito control is a responsibility shared by all residents, businesses and property owners,” Sun said.
For more information, or to report neglected swimming pools of stagnant water, visit www.SGVMosquito.org or call 626-814-9466.