Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District
For Immediate Release: Monday, July 9, 2018
Garden Grove, CA. The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) has confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in 2018. The mosquitoes were collected from the city of Garden Grove, near Garden Grove Blvd. and Newhope St. on July 3, 2018.
“Although we are hoping that this is going to be a mild season for West Nile virus, it is still critical that residents take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites.” said Robert Cummings, OCMVCD’s Director of Scientific Technical Services.
District staff will post signs and distribute flyers alerting residents to the detection of the virus, and preventative measures they can take to reduce becoming infected. Additional inspectors have been deployed to canvass the area to look for mosquito breeding sources, expand public education, and work with city officials to fix infrastructure issues.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes, which become infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. In severe cases, people will need to be hospitalized, and in rare cases the disease can be fatal. Young children, the elderly, or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk to experience severe symptoms when infected.
There are no reported birds with West Nile virus, or confirmed cases of human infections at this time in Orange County.
Since its introduction in 2003, WNV has infected more than 6,500 people and has caused 292 fatalities statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health. West Nile virus is endemic in California and in Orange County, and presents a risk to public health every year.
Follow the tips below to prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin before going outdoors; reapply as recommended
- Wear repellent containing DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or space; repair broken or damaged screens
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and opt for lighter-colored clothing
- Around the home, eliminating breeding sources for mosquitoes is critical:
- Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week
- Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls weekly
- Dump water from potted plant saucers
Orange County residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes, or day-biting mosquitoes, to OCMVCD. For more information, please contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421, or visit www.ocvector.org.