Mosquitoes / West Nile Virus
Mosquito-transmitted diseases such as West Nile virus are going to be a part of life for Californians for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, the high desert is too dry to support mosquitoes under normal circumstances, since the mosquito breeding cycle requires standing water.
Human activities, though, can unintentionally create breeding sites for mosquito populations. When backyards contain unmaintained pools, birdbaths with stagnant water, old wading pools, discarded tires which collect water, even a wadded up plastic tarp with water on it, mosquito populations may develop. Mosquitoes are vectors which can carry diseases, including West Nile Virus. Though not always fatal or even serious, it is a threat.
What is West Nile Virus?
It is a mosquito-borne virus found in the past few years in infected birds in San Bernardino County. After a mosquito bites a virus-carrying bird, it may then pass the virus to its next bite victim.
How do people and animals get the virus?
The virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. After being bitten by an infected mosquito, the incubation period is five to 15 days before any symptoms develop.
What animals get West Nile?
Birds are the reservoir host and horses and people are accidental hosts.
What are the symptoms?
A majority of the people infected will develop no symptoms. However, in individuals who do become ill, the symptoms are similar to the flu: fever, headaches, nausea and body aches.
What should I do?
With the current increases in activity, residents are urged to take the necessary actions to protect themselves from mosquito bites:
- Dump standing water – tires, buckets, birdbaths, flower pots, and even soda cans can become “mosquito nurseries”.
- Defend your house – make sure screens on windows and doors are tight fitting and in good repair.
- Defend yourself– when outdoors at dusk and dawn, use a mosquito repellent. The active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR 3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are the longest lasting and most effective.
NOTE: For information on the lastest West Nile Virus activity in California you can visit the "California West Nile Virus Website."
For additional information on West Nile:
Call Code Enforcement at 760-240-7000 x 7560, to report green pools or other standing water!