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May 22, 2017 – Spring and Summer bring great weather for outdoor activities along with mosquitoes. Our winter provided plenty of rainfall that created a multitude of breeding sites for mosquitoes and the expectation is the mosquito population will be very prolific this year. It is very important to protect yourself when outside and always practice the “Three D’s”:
- DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, if you choose DEET, to use a product with 10% to 30% DEET for children 2 months of age and older and not to use DEET for those under 2 months.
- DAWN AND DUSK – The mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus (WNV) bite in the early morning and evening, so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate or drain all sources of standing water around homes and properties, including buckets, old car tires, rain gutters, birdbaths, and pet bowls. If a swimming pool is not being properly maintained, please contact the local mosquito and vector control agency.
West Nile Virus is a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. WNV first appeared in California in 2003 and it is here to stay. Highest activity is during the summer and fall months, however, it is present year round. The mosquito that transmits Zika virus has not been detected in Nevada County and it is different from mosquitoes that transmit WNV.
Who is affected? Anyone can be bitten, but people who are 50 years in age or older, or who are immune-suppressed or living with a chronic health condition are at higher risk for severe illness and death.
Symptoms: Most people who become infected do not develop any symptoms. One in five will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Less than 1% of cases develop into a serious neurologic illness. The symptoms can last for weeks or months.
Please call Nevada County Environmental Health Department, Vector Control at (530) 265-1500 for more information on mosquito fish, general vector questions and to report concerns with mosquito breeding sites. For additional resources and information visit the West Nile.ca.gov website for information regarding West Nile Virus, statistics, reports and preventative measures.