Fresno County Identifies First WNV Positive Mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes collected from a location near Shields and Chestnut Avenues in the City of Fresno are the first in 2009 to test positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) in Fresno County. The mosquito sample, collected on May 8th, contained a mosquito species which is common throughout the Central Valley. Statewide this year, 11 dead birds, 26 mosquito samples, and 3 sentinel chickens have tested positive for WNV. No human cases of West Nile Virus infection have been confirmed so far in 2009. In 2008, there were 3 human cases of WNV in Fresno County with one death.

“Now that WNV infection has been identified in local mosquito populations, residents are advised to use insect repellent when outdoors, especially at dusk,” says Steve Mulligan, Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District Manager. “Residents should also contact their local mosquito control district regarding standing water or mosquito problems, as well as to report any neglected swimming pools. Neglected pools are a major source of mosquito production in urban and suburban areas.”

To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes or contracting WNV, Fresno County residents are urged to take the following precautions:

* Apply insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.

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* Use repellent especially in the early morning and in the evening when mosquitoes that carry WNV are active.

* Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.

* Contact mosquito abatement districts for assistance with poorly maintained swimming pools that appear green. Neglected pools are the primary source of mosquito breeding in residential areas of Fresno County.

* Get FREE mosquito fish for backyard ponds or horse troughs from mosquito abatement districts

* Report any ill or dead birds and dead tree squirrels.

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