Health & Medicine

District will spray south Sacramento for West Nile virus

Areas south of downtown Sacramento will undergo a second consecutive night of aerial mosquito spraying on Tuesday after numerous bird and mosquito samples in the area tested positive for West Nile virus.

The sprays are being conducted by the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, which monitors mosquito conditions throughout the year.

Tuesday’s spraying will last from 8 p.m. to midnight and cover nearly 17,000 acres generally bounded by Broadway on the north to Meadowview Road on the south and from Interstate 5 on the west to Power Inn Road on the east.

The spray treatment will be done with Trumpet, an insecticide registered for use in mosquito control by the U.S. and California environmental protection agencies. According to the district’s website, the sprayings do not pose a risk to human or pet health, but residents should close their doors and windows and remain inside as much as possible during the aerial treatment. The mosquito-killing particles break down quickly in sunlight and will not build up over time.

In recent weeks, the district has seen increasing levels of West Nile virus infection among birds and mosquitoes in the area, spurring concern about the possibility of human infection.

“With the Fourth of July holiday, we know many residents will be spending time outdoors and enjoying the fireworks at dusk, a time when mosquitoes will be actively biting,” said district manager Gary Goodman. “It’s critical that we act now to reduce the number of infected mosquitoes and decrease the risk of human transmission.”

District spokeswoman Luz Maria Rodriguez said scientists are not sure why south Sacramento neighborhoods have become a hot spot for West Nile activity this year. Last year, Rodriguez said, the district did not need to conduct urban aerial sprays.

West Nile activity also is increasing this year in northeast Sacramento County, including Citrus Heights and Carmichael, according to the district’s map of dead birds and mosquito samples. Rodriguez said the district will continue monitoring the virus to determine whether additional aerial spray treatments are needed.

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