Sacramento-area mosquito control officials reported today they have confirmed 25 new samples of insects carrying the West Nile virus, a sign that the virus remains widespread in the region even as summer winds down.
There are four confirmed human cases of the disease reported in Sacramento County so far this year, including one death, according the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District. Statewide, there are 238 confirmed human cases, compared to 117 at this same time last year, vector control officials report. Of those, nine have resulted in fatalities.
“While we’re near the end of summer, this week we’ve had hot temperatures for this time of the year and we’re still seeing ongoing West Nile virus activity throughout both of our counties,” said Gary Goodman, district manager. “Mosquito season is not over yet and we can’t let our guard down.”
West Nile virus, first detected in birds in Sacramento County a decade ago, is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.
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Goodman warned that the vector control district typically sees the number of human infections increase in September. “We urge you to always protect yourself with an effective mosquito repellent,” he said. “It’s a quick and easy precaution that could save your life.”
The California Department of Public Health indicated last week that West Nile virus being carried among mosquitoes is at its highest detected level ever. Vector control officials say the virus is currently detected in 37 counties.
Officials with the Sacramento-Yolo vector district said the trapping and testing of mosquitoes is ongoing. Officials are continuing their ground treatment efforts. For information about treatments planned in Sacramento or Yolo counties, visit the www.FIGHTtheBITE.net website, or call ( 800) 429-1022.
The district advises residents to drain any standing water that may produce mosquitoes, use an effective insect repellent, keep window screens in good working condition. Dawn and dusk are the most active times for mosquitoes.