Scientists: mosquitoes in Orange County carry a dangerous virus
Mosquito samples collected at Fullerton tested positive for West Nile virus, which can cause fever or even death.
The fact was confirmed by the OC Mosquito and Vector Control District organization. This is the body that protects OC from mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit. Orange County residents can take precautions by using mosquito repellent when mosquitoes are most active. That is, at dawn or in the evening.
"West Nile virus spreads among wild bird populations and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mostly members of the genus Culex," commented Steve Vetrone, Director of Scientific and Technical Services for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District..
In about 80% of infections, people have few or no symptoms. About 20% of people develop a fever, headache, vomiting, or rash. Less than 1% of people develop encephalitis or meningitis. It may be accompanied by confusion or seizures, and recovery takes weeks to months. The risk of death among those whose nervous system is affected is about 10%.
Because the virus - and consequently mosquitoes - are dangerous to humans and there is no vaccine, the Vector Control District says, Orange County residents should use tools to protect themselves. There are different types of them available. But not all are equally effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends products with the ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or lemon eucalyptus oil.
"We encourage residents to protect themselves by applying insect repellent with one of the recommended active ingredients at a concentration of 15 percent or higher while outdoors," Vetrone said. Residents can also wear loose, long sleeves and pants to prevent mosquito bites.
Mosquito control is a shared responsibility, say experts. What measures can you take on your own?
- Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering cans. Or anything else that holds water for more than a week.
- Make sure swimming pools and ponds are properly maintained.
- Constantly change the water in pet dishes, bird baths and other small containers.
- Report abandoned (green) pools in your neighborhood to Vector Control.
Socium.Network team recommends listening to the advice of experts.
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