Zika Patient in Spring Valley Neighborhood Prompts County to Spray Area

The Environmental Health Director urged residents to inspect their homes and dump out any breeding waters for mosquitoes.

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 section of a Spring Valley neighborhood after a resident returned from a trip abroad, where they were infected with the Zika virus.

The Spring Valley resident recently returned from a trip to a country where tropical, mosquito-borne illnesses, including the Zika virus, are active. 

Mosquitoes and larvae that could carry the virus were also found near the Zika patient's residence. Officials went door-to-door to residents' homes on Tuesday and leave notifications for people living where the spraying will occur.

The spraying marks the ninth area sprayed this year.

On Thursday, County officials will spray the area, bordered by San Bernardino Avneue to the west, Apple Street to the south and just east of Sangamon Avenue to the east. The area has 49 homes in the 13-acre area. 

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.

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.

Rebecca LaFreniere, Deputy Director with Department of Environmental Health San Diego County, suggested residents help the county control the aedes species of mosquitoes by routinely removing breeding areas around their home.

She said something as small as a toy, a lawn ornament or a saucer could provide a perfect amount of water for mosquitoes to multiply.

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