Mosquitoes can transmit the viruses that cause West Nile fever. Photo by Noah Poritz, courtesy United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service

Orange County officials fanned out Monday in the La Habra area to eliminate pools of stagnant water and educate the public about the dangers of the West Nile virus following its detection in mosquitoes last week.

Thursday’s positive test for WNV in a mosquito sample was a first for the year in Orange County. Dead birds infected with the virus were found in Lake Forest and Irvine in May and January, respectively, according to Mary-Joy Coburn of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

People contract the virus when bitten by infected mosquitoes that get it from birds that carry WNV.

This winter’s heavy rains helped wash away typical breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the underground storm drains of many older cities, Coburn said, but left more standing water than usual in wetlands areas.

As a result, crews have been spraying mosquito larvicide over Peters Canyon Reservoir, Villa Park Dam, Santiago Pit North, Santiago Pit South and the Loma Pond.

Officials knocked on doors in the La Habra area to make sure residents know to get rid of any stagnant water on their property.

–City News Service

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