Confirmation of West Nile virus among mosquitoes netted in Moreno Valley will require pest eradication operations over a wide area of the city Friday, according to vector control officials.
The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health has scheduled “ultra-low volume” insecticide spraying throughout a 230-acre space between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Friday.
Agency spokesman Brent Casey said a batch of mosquitoes that were snared in traps near Celebration Park, where large concentrations of the pests have been located, tested positive for West Nile.
According to Casey, spray treatments are planned within an area bordered by Cactus Avenue to the north, JFK Drive to the south, Nason Street to the west and Moreno Beach Drive to the east.
Anti-mosquito spraying involves the use of chemicals approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Pesticides are emitted as a mist dispersed from machines anchored in the backs of pickup trucks.
Casey recommended that during operations, residents stay indoors and keep windows closed until at least 15 minutes after the trucks have departed.
No human West Nile virus infections have been documented in Riverside County so far this year. However, statewide, 10 infections have been recorded, most of them in Northern California, according to the California Department of Public Health.
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, residents are urged to:
— spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move;
— wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity in mosquito-prone places;
— 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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