More mosquitoes testing positive for St. Louis encephalitis have been located in the Eastern Coachella Valley, local vector control officials reported Wednesday.
Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus have been found in Mecca and North Shore, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Officials say that the positive samples were found in traps earlier this month near Grant Street and Avenue 71, as well as Johnson Street, near Avenue 70 in Mecca. In North Shore, officials collected positive samples from a trap near Cleveland Street and Avenue 72.
By this date last year, no positive St. Louis encephalitis samples had been found. This year, eight infected mosquitoes have been located in the Coachella Valley, all in Mecca and North Shore, according to the CVMVCD.
Helicopter spraying will be conducted in the evening hours, weather permitting from Monday to Wednesday in Mecca and North Shore.
The discovery also follows recent detections of West Nile virus in nine mosquitoes found in Palm Desert and Indian Wells, which led to increased mosquito spraying and trapping there.
District officials warned residents to watch out during the early morning and evening hours, when mosquitoes are most active.
“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,” she said. “Make sure you are covered up in the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes that can transmit these viruses typically bite.”
While most experience no illness if bitten, some will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. Rare cases can result in hospitalization and/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.
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