The Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District announced today that more groups of mosquitoes and sentinel chickens have tested positive for West Nile virus. The District received confirmation that 11 more mosquito pools trapped in the Chico, Palermo, Honcut, and Hamilton City areas, and 17 new chickens from the Chico, Gridley, Biggs, Honcut, Chico, and Hamilton City areas have tested positive for WNV.
The total number of mosquito pools that have tested positive with WNV in 2013 is 25 and the total number of sentinel chickens that have tested positive with WNV is 30. With increasing mosquito populations and the detection and wide-spread distribution of WNV within Butte County, the District URGES residents to take all precautions necessary to drain any and all un-needed standing water, report any suspected mosquito-breeding sites to the District, and to protect themselves from the bites of mosquitoes.
Matthew Ball, District Manager for the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District stated, “Butte County and Hamilton City residents are at an elevated risk for contracting WNV from infected mosquitoes. It’s imperative that residents assist with the prevention of mosquitoe breeding by inspecting and eliminating all standing water from their properties.” WNV has been identified in Butte County every year since its arrival in 2004. Since 2004, 105 residents have been infected with the virus, 7 of which have lost their lives due to the disease.
The District's Public Information Officer Doug Weseman said "With elevated levels of WNV being reported and identified by neighboring counties and the wide-spread distribution locally, it's crucial that residents protect themselves from mosquito bites. Residents should use mosquito repellents when they go outdoors, and/or wear long sleeves and long pants especially at the times when mosquitoes are most active (mornings and evenings). WNV is preventable; you only need to prevent the mosquito bite!" The virus is usually prevalent from May through October when mosquitoes are
most abundant. Mosquitoes contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread the
virus when the mosquitoes seek other hosts to bite.