More mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus have been found in Indian Wells, the same city where local officials found 2018’s first positive detections of the virus among all Coachella Valley cities, the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District said Thursday.
The most recent detections were discovered in a trap near Fairway Drive and Cook Street, the same area where 2018’s first infected mosquitoes in the Coachella Valley were found last month.
Along with positive samples discovered in Palm Desert, eight positive samples total have been found in the Coachella Valley this year.
Though vector control officials have increased trapping and surveillance in those cities, the desert was seeing a far higher rate of the virus last year, with 60 positive samples discovered by this time in 2017, according to CVMVCD.
The district has also reported positive samples of St. Louis encephalitis in mosquito traps in Mecca, and have advised desert residents to cover up in the early morning and evening hours.
“With two mosquito-borne viruses currently active in the Coachella Valley, it is more important than ever for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” district spokeswoman Jill Oviatt said. “Just one bite from an infected mosquito could change your future. Don’t take the chance. Make sure you are covered up in the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes that can transmit these viruses typically bite.”
Officials advised residents to also inspect their yards for any standing water sources, which can serve as mosquito breeding sites.
Most who are infected with West Nile virus experience no illness, but officials said some will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. Rare cases include hospitalization or death. Young children, the elderly and those with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of severe symptoms.
Any local mosquito problems should be reported to CVMVCD at (760) 342-8287.