West Nile Virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected in West Covina and Pomona, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District announced today.
The detections are the first appearance of WNV in San Gabriel Valley this year, and signal the potential for mosquitoes to transmit the disease to humans. Over 5,500 people have been infected and 229 people have died from WNV since 2003, and the disease is considered a public health risk to Californians every year.
Samples were collected using traps placed at Cortez Park in West Covina and on the northeastern, eastern, and southern parts of the Cal Poly Pomona campus on July 20. Earlier, SGVMVCD had identified WNV in dead American crows from Altadena and Monrovia on June 23 and July 11, respectively, and the District is responding to the news by continuing observations and control efforts. District Scientific Programs Manager Dr. Wakoli Wekesa wants residents to take caution because the heat wave will incite more mosquito activity.
SGVMVCD recommends the following precautionary measures:
- Wear mosquito repellent and protective clothing when outdoors while mosquitoes are active (long sleeves and pants around dawn or dusk)
- Regularly inspect property to identify and remove sources of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs and grow (pools, buckets, puddles, ponds, containers)
- Ensure doors and windows are properly screened
- Report increased mosquito activity, sources of standing water, and green pools to the District at (626) 814-9466 or online at www.SGVmosquito.org
You can help identify and report WNV “hot spots” (dead birds) to the WNV hotline (877)WNV-BIRD ((877) 968-2473) or at www.westnile.ca.gov.