Mosquitoes netted in Nuevo tested positive for West Nile virus, but there were no immediate plans to start pest control spraying in the area, Riverside County health officials said Friday.
A batch from a collection site in the area of Orange Street and Reservoir Avenue bordering Mystic Field was confirmed to be carrying WNV, according to the Department of Environmental Health.
The agency has netted numerous West Nile-carrying mosquitoes in that same general area in summers past. Department of Environmental Health spokeswoman Dottie Merki said the mosquitoes were caught on July 21, and testing by a vector control lab verified on Thursday that they were WNV positive.
“It is not unusual for mosquitoes in parts of Riverside County to test positive for the virus, especially during the summer,” she said.
When there are large concentrations of mosquitoes in residential areas, the county generally initiates insecticide spraying to minimize WNV exposure risks. Operations in and around Mystic Field are not uncommon.
There have been no human West Nile infections documented to date this year in Riverside County.
Aside from one infection in Orange County, the remaining 45 have been recorded in Central and Northern California.
Most mosquito activity in the county has been concentrated in the Coachella Valley.
Mosquitoes typically become carriers of the virus after feeding on an infected bird and can then spread the potentially lethal strain to animals and humans. Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Symptoms may never materialize, but can include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans May to October. To reduce exposure to mosquitoes carrying WNV, yellow fever, Zika and other diseases, residents are urged to:
— spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move;
— wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity;
— use insect repellent;
— ensure door and window screens are fitted properly to keep bugs out; and
— get rid of standing water, aside from pools properly treated with chemicals.
Anyone with concerns should contact the Department of Environmental Health at 951-766-9454.
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