A community message from Napa County:
A pooled sample of mosquitoes collected in southern Napa County has tested positive for the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV). The mosquitoes were collected as part of routine surveillance for the presence of West Nile Virus throughout the County.
“The appearance of West Nile Virus in Napa County is not a surprise,” said Napa County Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith, “So far this year, however, we have not had any reported cases of West Nile Virus infection in humans.”
At least 80 percent of people who do become infected with West Nile Virus will not get sick at all. Up to 20 percent will have only mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or skin rash. These symptoms generally appear three to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Individuals may be sick ten days to two weeks but will recover fully.
Less than 1 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus will develop severe illness, such as brain infection (encephalitis), or infection of the tissue layers covering the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
People can reduce their risk of getting West Nile Virus by remembering the “3 Ds”:
1. DEFEND – Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older.
2. DAWN and DUSK – Mosquitoes that carry WNV bite in the early morning and evening. It is important during this time to use repellent and wear clothing that reduces the risk of skin exposure to mosquito bites. Make sure your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
3. DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including buckets, old car tires and pet bowls. If you have a pond, use mosquito fish (available from Napa County Mosquito Abatement District) or commercially available products to eliminate mosquito larvae.
The Napa Mosquito Abatement District will continue surveillance and control measures throughout Napa County, including the area where the positive mosquito pool was found. Surveillance includes testing mosquitoes and animals known to carry WNV. People areencouraged to report dead birds and dead tree squirrels on the website www.westnile.ca.gov or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD(877-968-2473).
For more information about WNV preparedness in Napa County, contact the following:
- Mosquito control issues - Napa County Mosquito Abatement District, (707) 553-9610;
- Health related questions - contact your healthcare provider or Public Health at (707) 253-4270.
Source: Napa County
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