For the first time this year in Orange County, a sample of mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile virus, the region’s vector control district announced Monday.
The mosquitoes were collected at El Camino Real Park in the city of Orange on July 30, according to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District. Nine birds with the virus have been found in Cypress, Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Tustin.
No people have been afflicted with the virus so far.
Officials plan to do more trapping of the bugs around El Camino Real Park and have been alerting the public with flyers. Inspectors are also going door-to-door to check for any sources of standing water that can help contribute to breeding.
“The increased temperatures and humidity creates an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed, so it is critical that residents take the necessary steps to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sources and prevent mosquito bites,” said Lora Young, a spokeswoman for the OCMVCD.
The mosquitoes get infected when feeding on birds with the virus, and the insects pass on the virus to humans.
Symptoms of the virus include fever and head and body aches. In rare cases, it can be fatal, with young children, the elderly or people with a weakened immune system most vulnerable.
Officials recommend residents use mosquito repellent that includes DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors. Residents should also close unscreened doors and windows and repair damaged screens, and eliminate standing water in containers such as pet bowls, bird baths or potted plant saucers.
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