West Nile virus detected in Sonoma County mosquito population

MARIN COUNTY (KRON) — West Nile virus has been detected in the mosquito population in Sonoma County, according to the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District.

This is the first mosquito sample to test positive for the virus in 2016. Crews collected the sample near the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility in Petaluma.

“Both larval and adult mosquito control operations have been conducted in the immediate area to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes and break the virus transmission cycle. The District will continue to monitor the area for additional virus activity,” vector control public relations director Nizza Sequeira said.

“As the temperatures rise we expect to see additional virus activity in both counties,” said Angie Nakano, who is the Scientific Programs Manager for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District. “The warmer weather not only accelerates the life cycle of the mosquito, it amplifies the virus, making transmission much more likely.”

Residents are being asked to reduce exposure to mosquitoes and lessen the risk of West Nile virus by taking these precautions:
• Avoid being outdoors during peak mosquito activity (dawn and dusk).
• Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (always carefully read and follow the directions on the label!)
• Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and long pants.
• Keep doors and windows closed whenever possible.
• Check and maintain all window and door screens.
• Contact the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District (707-285-2200) if you have a mosquito-related problem that you cannot resolve on your own.
• Continue to report dead birds to the West Nile Virus hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online.
• Click here for our Backyard Checklist to help identify areas around your home that may produce mosquitoes.

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