Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus has been found in Mecca.
They were trapped near Johnson Street and Avenue 70.
“As temperatures increase, so do mosquitoes, and when mosquito numbers rise, disease risk also increases. Wearing EPA-approved repellent lowers your chance of being bitten and getting sick” says Tammy Gordon of the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Vector control officials say this is the first positive West Nile Virus test in the eastern Coachella Valley in 2021.
One person has died from West Nile Virus in California so far in 2021, and that person was in San Luis Obispo County.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure, and one in five infected individuals will exhibit symptoms that can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or skin rash. The symptoms can last for several days, or months.
One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death.
Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans May to October.
To reduce exposure to West Nile virus, spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are generally on the move, wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity, use insect repellent with the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, ensure door and window screens are fitted properly to keep bugs out, and get rid of standing water, aside from pools properly treated with chemicals.
Aedes aegypti mosquito biting a human hand. The pest spreads West Nile Virus.
Photo from Alpha Media USA Portland OR