With potentially deadly mosquito-borne viruses continuing to be detected in the Coachella Valley, crews will begin pesticide spraying operations Saturday morning that are expected to continue into the fall.
Spraying will occur on weekend mornings in Palm Desert and La Quinta through Sept. 13, from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., except for one Sunday in August, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
In La Quinta, spraying will be focused on the Cove neighborhood, bounded by Calle Tampico, Avenida Bermudas, Calle Tecate and Avenida Montezuma. In Palm Desert, crews will be deployed to an area bounded by El Paseo, Portola Avenue, Haystack Street and Highway 74.
Plans to beef up spraying pesticides in the Coachella Valley come as additional mosquitoes trapped in the Coachella Valley tested positive for West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis in recent days.
This year, 27 mosquitoes have tested positive for the WNV in the Coachella Valley, and 55 mosquitoes have tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis.
The Coachella Valley has no reported human cases of either virus, which can both be transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.
This year, WNV has been detected in mosquitoes in North Shore, Indian Wells, Palm Desert and La Quinta.
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. Most people end up not feeling symptoms if infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mosquitoes infected with St. Louis Encephalitis — a viral disease that can be transmitted to humans and initially cause flu-like symptoms, and in rare cases, death — have primarily been detected in the east valley areas of Indio and Thermal, although mosquitoes infected with the virus have also been trapped in Palm Desert.
An infection can cause fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness, the CDC said. In older adults, a severe neuroinvasive disease that often involves encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, is possible following infection. People over 50 years old and those with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of suffering severe symptoms if they contract the virus.
In rare cases, St. Louis Encephalitis can cause long-term disabilities or death, according to the CDC.
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans May to October.
For more information about spraying in the Coachella Valley, go to www.cvmosquito.org/public-health-threats/pages/current-application-activities-0