Mosquitoes with West Nile found in RM
The first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Rancho Murieta were found in a sampling the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District took in late August near Puerto Drive's 7 Park. There were 10 infected mosquitoes in the sample, the vector district reported Tuesday.
Although ground spraying with insecticide often follows the discovery of mosquitoes, Luz Maria Rodriquez, public information officer for the vector control district, wrote in an email, "Currently there are no plans for spraying to kill adult mosquitoes. We're still finding that the abundance of mosquitoes per trap is very low. Our field staff continues to canvas the area looking for potential mosquito breeding sources, treating any known problems and looking for any new sources. It's getting late in the season and fortunately temperatures are starting to cool off, so we hope that West Nile virus activity will begin to decrease."
Since July, more than a dozen dead birds throughout Rancho Murieta have tested positive for West Nile. While birds don't pass the virus on to humans, mosquitoes can get the disease from the infected birds and then pass it on when they bite humans or animals.
Usually, the discovery of an infected bird is followed by placement of traps to test mosquitoes in a one-mile radius, the district says.
So far this year in Sacramento County, there have been three human cases of the virus, and 429 dead birds, 407 mosquito samples, 17 sentinel animals and one horse have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the district's web site, fightthebite.net. The risk has been high in South Sacramento County, especially in the neighboring communities of Wilton and Elk Grove.
The district recommends the following 7 D's of mosquito prevention:
DRAIN all standing water
Avoid DAWN and DUSK, when mosquitoes are most active
DRESS appropriately, in long sleeves and pants
DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes with an effective repellent
DOORS and windows should be in good condition
DISTRICT staff can help. Call 1-800-429-1022
The district's online information says even in areas where mosquitoes carry the virus, very few mosquitoes are infected. For people bitten by an infected mosquito, fewer than 1 percent will become infected with West Nile and become seriously ill. About 80 percent will experience no problems.
The roughly 20 percent who develop West Nile fever have flu-like symptoms that may last two to three weeks before recovery.
For the 1 percent who become severely ill with West Nile, symptoms may include fever, seizures, weakness, change in mental status, paralysis and death.
As for your pets, the district says they don't seem to exhibit the same symptoms as humans. "It is unlikely that most pet owners would notice any unusual symptoms or behavior in cats or dogs that become infected..." the district says. On the other hand, horses are very susceptible to the virus, and about one-third that become ill die or are euthanized.
May or June of this year, I called Vector Control to report standing water in the concrete drainage ditch just steps off our deck on Chesbro Lake because we were starting to see mosquitoes. The guy that came out told me that standing water was not a threat, our mosquitoes were the tree type and not to worry. So, which is it? The water is still there.