Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control announced Thursday that several mosquitos in Butte County are plagued with West Nile and the virus is now active in Butte County.
Groups of positive mosquitoes, known as a “mosquito pool,” collected in the areas of Honcut, Palermo, and Dayton have tested positive with the West Nile virus.
With increasing mosquito populations and the detection of West Nile virus within Butte County, the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District urges residents to take all precautions necessary to drain any and all unneeded standing water, report any suspected mosquito-breeding sites and protect themselves from the bites of mosquitoes.
This is the first positive indicator of West Nile Virus in the county for 2018. West Nile Virus is active throughout the State of California.
“It’s imperative that county residents be aware that West Nile Virus is active and to avoid mosquito bites by whatever means necessary,” said Matthew Ball, District Manager for the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. “Residents are urged to do their part to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by inspecting and eliminating all standing water from their properties.”
West Nile Virus has been identified in Butte County every year since its arrival in 2004. Since 2004, 232 residents have been infected with the virus, 8 of which have lost their lives.
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.
In addition to birds and humans, horses are also affected by West Nile virus. Due to the high mortality rate of horses that contract the disease, owners are encouraged to make sure their horses are kept current with their West Nile virus vaccinations.
Individuals can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne disease by following these prevention tips:
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are active, especially at dusk and dawn
- If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear long pants, and long-sleeved shirts, socks and shoes
- Before going outdoors, apply insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes
- Eliminate all standing water on your property that can support mosquito-breeding - Report standing water to Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District
- Contact Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live, work, and/or play
The public is encouraged to become part of the state’s monitoring effort for West Nile virus by reporting any dead birds that may have been dead for less than 48 hours.
Individuals should take note of the location and condition of the bird before calling for further instructions. While there is no evidence that people can get the virus from handling live or dead birds, individuals should not attempt to catch or handle the birds. The public is also encouraged to report any suspected mosquito-breeding sites and/or any mosquito activity. Reports can be made by phone at 530-533-6038 or 530-342-7350 or website at www.ButteMosquito.com. For more information call the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District at 530-533-6038 or 530-342-7350.