County Begins Spraying to Battle West Nile Virus

San Diego County officials are getting a jump on the West Nile Virus season

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An aerial larvicide drop will take place Thursday as San Diego County begins its annual battle to protect residents from West Nile Virus.

    San Diego has been diligent and fortunate according to Eric McDonald, M.D., County of San Diego Deputy Public Health Officer.

    Even though 2012 was one of the worst West Nile virus seasons on record for both California and the U.S., our area did not see many cases.

    Only one local person has been diagnosed with the virus in the last three years according to McDonald.

    “We can’t be complacent,” he said.

    West Nile Virus is a potentially serious illness that is usually spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While many infected with the virus don’t know it or suffer mild flu symptoms, the virus can incapacitate or even kill in rare cases.

    County officials are trying to get a jump on the West Nile Virus season by kicking off their prevention campaign – “Protect, Prevent, Report.”

    Here are some of their tips:

    • Stay inside when mosquitos are biting at dawn and dusk
    • If you have to be out where long sleeves, long pants
    • Use insect repellent
    • Check screens for holes
    • Check property for places mosquitos can breed
    • Report dead birds or stagnant swimming pools

    Mosquito-eating fish are a good tool to control mosquito breeding according to Jack Miller, Director for Department of Environmental Health.

    “We try to get them in green pools and different places so they can naturally feed off mosquitoes,” Miller said. “We try to use as little pesticide as possible.”

    Residents with ponds and waterfalls on their properties can take advantage of the mosquito fish distributed by the county . Click here for a list of location.

    The county also lists its locations for larvicide drops on its Vector Control website or click here for a map.