West Nile virus: Butte County Vector District takes action

Apr 30, 2015 2:04 PM by News Staff

California saw a record number of deaths from the West Nile virus in 2014, and with worsening drought conditions officials say this year could be worse.

Thirty-one infected people died in 2014, the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003, and there were 801 Californians who tested positive for the virus -- coming close to the record of 880 cases a decade ago.

The Butte County Vector District is getting an early start this year, and asking residents to check their properties for places mosquitos may populate. Officials say any standing water needs to be dumped, flower pots, buckets, old tires and anything with water lying at the bottom of it are attractive places for mosquito eggs to be laid.

It only takes a teaspoon of water for a mosquito to lay 300 eggs, so large areas of standing water pose huge threats.

Vector District officials are in the process of flying around the county looking for unmaintained swimming pools. "If owners get these pools cleaned up it will dramatically limit mosquito populations in the area," Vector District Assistant Manager Doug Weseman told Action News Now.

If you have an unmaintained pool on your property, the county is offering mosquito eating fish free of charge at the Butte County Vector Control District.

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