A mosquito collected in Winters tested positive for West Nile Virus, the first evidence of the disease in Winters and Yolo County, authorities said.
The mosquito sample was one of two collected by the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District (SYMVCD) in Yolo County, with the second sample from the unincorporated community of Zamora, about 25 miles north of Winters.
Though these are the first traces of West Nile Virus detected in Yolo County, the District has collected 16 mosquitoes and 12 dead birds infected with the virus in Sacramento County this summer, and said West Nile activity has been present in nearbyPlacer and San Joaquin Counties as well.
In a statement released August 7, SYMVCD Manager Gary Goodman said warmer temperatures were to blame for the higher incidence of the disease, although this year has seen a relative low amount of West Nile activity.
“With the warmer temperatures we’ve seen recently West Nile virus activity continues to increase,” said Gary Goodman District Manager. “While we have seen a significant decrease in [West Nile Virus] activity this season as compared to previous years, it’s extremely important that residents take proper precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites especially as they enjoy outdoor evening activities when mosquitoes are most active” added Goodman.
Last year in California, there were 217 cases of West Nile in humans with 11 casualties. This year, there have only been four reported cases, with a single case in Imperial County resulting in a fatality.
Residents of Winters and Yolo County are advised to follow the “District D’s of Mosquito Prevention”: drain standing water (where mosquitoes reproduce); avoid outdoor activities during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active; dress in long sleeves when outdoors; defend against mosquitoes with insect repellent; insure door and window screens are in proper condition; and contact district personnel with questions and concerns.
The District regularly conducts aerial spraying in the Plainfield area west of Winters, but also uses manual spraying to reduce mosquito populations and protect residents. It also traps mosquitoes to test for the disease and determine where best to target its efforts.
The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District can be reached at (800) 429-1022, or online at www.FIGHTtheBITE.com.]]>