SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The Santa Clara County Vector Control District confirmed on July 8 that adult mosquitoes collected from the San Tomas Expressway/Hamilton Avenue area of San Jose tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The test result has prompted the scheduling of mosquito fogging in the surrounding area in an effort to prevent human cases. Weather permitting, the ground fogging will take place on Thursday, July 22, at 11 p.m., and will last several hours.
“Our job is to protect the health of residents. By specifically targeting this area with ground fogging, we have the ability to suppress the West Nile positive adult mosquito population and have a significant impact on preventing human cases from occurring,” said Acting District Manager Russ Parman. “It is important that local residents take preventive measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes while outdoors. Using insect repellent and dumping any standing water are the simplest and most effective ways that residents can protect themselves and their families from West Nile virus.”
The fogging area includes areas of the city of San José and Campbell and is bordered by Payne Avenue on the north, San Tomas Aquino Road on the west, Highway 17 on the east and Rincon and Budd Avenues on the south. Information packets will be distributed in the fogging area notifying residents about the fogging campaign.
A community informational open house has been scheduled for July 20 at the West San Jose Community Center, 3707 Williams Rd, San Jose, CA 95117, San Jose from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Residents of the fogging area are encouraged to attend the open house. Additionally, they can visit the District’s website at www.sccvector.org to view a map of the fogging zone, as well as sign up for e-mail notification of any WNV activity in the county. Residents may also call the District’s WNV recorded hotline, at 888-SCC-WNV4 (722-9684) for up-to-date information.
Transmitted by mosquito bites, WNV can cause mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, and body ache, and, in severe cases, significant neurological symptoms or even death. People over 50 and those with high blood pressure are at higher risk for severe disease. In 2009, California reported 129 WNV infections, with 112 symptomatic cases and 4 human fatalities. While no human cases of WNV have been confirmed in Santa Clara County this year, fogging to suppress WNV-infected mosquitoes is needed to reduce the imminent risk of transmission of the virus to humans.
Precautions that can be taken against mosquito bites are:
• DRAIN or DUMP standing water weekly since this is where mosquitoes lay eggs. Check items such as flower pots and planter bases,
toys, cans, leaky water faucets and sprinklers, rain gutters, buckets, pools, ponds, and old tires.
• Make sure your DOORS and windows have tight-fitting screens.
• Limit activities during DUSK & DAWN to prevent mosquito bites. Those are the times when the mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active.
If you need to go outside at dusk or dawn, or when in an area where mosquitoes are active:
• Apply insect repellent containing D.E.E.T., Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (p-menthane diol), following label instructions.
• DRESS in long sleeve shirts and long pants, preferably of light colors.
Dead birds and squirrels may indicate the presence of West Nile Virus. The Vector Control District asks Santa Clara County residents to call if they find crows, jays, sparrows, finches, birds of prey, or tree squirrels that have been dead for less than 48 hours and do not appear to have died because of an injury.
Residents are encouraged to report dead birds and squirrels to the State of California WNV hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD or at www.westnile.ca.gov.
For assistance on mosquito control, contact the SCCVCD office at (408) 918-4770 / (800) 675-1155.
Media Contact: Russ Parman, 408-593-6176 English, Dr. Noor Tietze, 408-210-5773 English, José Colomé, 408-210-5774 English and Spanish
Posted: July 1, 2010