By Alec Pronk–
Mosquito control officials are warning local residents of intensifying West Nile Virus activity, with aerial spraying under consideration for the areas of Citrus Heights, Orangevale and North Highlands.
“All residents must take these warning signs very seriously because the risk for West Nile virus is very high,” Gary Goodman, manager for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District, said in a news release on Friday.
The district reported 182 mosquito samples and 133 dead birds have tested positive for the virus, to date. Residents are advised to use an effective mosquito repellent and avoid outdoor activity during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes tend to be more active.
According to Friday’s statement to media, aerial spraying would help quickly reduce mosquito populations and mitigate associated health risks. The district said additional laboratory results will be available on Monday, which will aid in making a determination about whether to use aerial sprays. If a threat is determined, spraying will begin in affected communities later next week.
The district has also been conducting ground spraying for mosquitoes in parks and neighborhoods to ensure public health and safety and monitor West Nile’s spread. At least half a dozen areas in Citrus Heights were ground sprayed on Wednesday night, and Rusch Park was sprayed on July 19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile Virus develop a serious, sometimes fatal illness. While most infected with the virus do not develop symptoms, 1 in 5 will develop a fever which can be marked by headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. While contracting a fatal illness from the disease is rare, it can affect people of any age. The CDC provides an extensive list of potential symptoms.
The district press release advises residents to be aware of mosquito hotspots such as standing water, and both mosquito repellent and long-sleeved clothing are recommended for those venturing outdoors. District personnel are also available at 1 (800) 429-1022 and online at FightTheBite.net to address mosquito concerns.