What to Know
- No mosquito-transmitted Zika virus cases have been reported in San Diego County.
- Zika virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, which actively bite humans during the daytime.
- Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.
County health officials plan to hand spray a neighborhood in Grant Hill after a resident returned from a trip abroad where they were infected with the Zika virus.
The individual, who recently visited a tropical country, tested positive for Zika at the San Diego County Public Health Laboratory. Mosquitoes and larvae that could carry the virus were also found near the Zika patient's residence. Officials plan to go door-to-door to residents' homes on Saturday and leave notifications for people living where the spraying will occur.
"We can't stress enough that it's very important for people to inspect in and around their homes and dump out any standing water so these mosquitoes can't breed," said Elise Rothschild, County Environmental Health Director.
This Saturday, County officials plan to spray an area in Grant Hill bordered on the west by Dodson Street, the north by Island Avenue and the south by K street. Officials say the eastern border is about halfway between 30th street and 31st street.
Aedes species of mosquitoes, which are known to carry Zika, are not native to San Diego County. Officials said they prefer to live close to people, which is unlike most native species. A female mosquito can lay anywhere from 100 to 300 eggs at a time.
“They can breed in the trays under flower pots, in holes, in trees, toys in the yard that can collect sprinkler water — anything that can collect water," said Rothschild.
When spraying the County will use Pyrenone, an insecticide derived from chrysanthemums, that poses low risk to people and pets. The chemicals dissipate in about half an hour.
To avoid exposure to the spray, officials are encouraging residents to stay inside with any pets, close doors and windows, cover fishponds, rinse fruits and vegetables from their gardens and wipe down outdoor items. Beekeepers are advised to cover their shelter hives and habitats.