San Diego County, California - San Diego County’s vector control program has already collected more batches of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes by the second week of July than it did in all of 2015.
No people, either in the county or in the state, have tested positive for West Nile virus so far in 2016. However, County environmental health officials said the fact that they have already collected 53 batches of mosquitoes with the virus in July — compared to 49 in all of 2015 — should remind people to keep their guard up and protect themselves from mosquitoes and the virus.
Last year in San Diego County, 44 people tested positive for West Nile virus and six died. Statewide, 753 people statewide tested positive and 53 people died.
County officials said the increased number of mosquito batches collected in 2016 might be skewed slightly higher because vector control conducted several repeat tests in May of mosquitoes trapped around the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon because of a mosquito outbreak there.
Vector control reported this week that, in addition to the mosquito batches, 132 dead birds and a horse - the first in the county reported this year - had also tested positive for the virus. While there is no human vaccine for West Nile virus, there is one for horses. County officials urged horse owners to ask their veterinarians about getting their animals vaccinated.
County officials also urged residents and visitors to follow the County’s “Prevent, Protect, Report” guidelines:
Prevent mosquito breeding sites. Every week, dump out and clean containers that hold water inside and outside homes, from equipment to toys, flower pots, old tires, anything that can collect water. Fill plant saucers with sand or fine gravel so water won’t form pools where mosquitoes can breed.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors. Use insect repellent, preferably one containing DEET. Make sure the screens on your windows and doors are in good condition, do not have holes or tears, and are secured to keep insects out.