Updated August 15, 2013
SAN JOSÉ, CALIF. - The Santa Clara County Vector Control District (SCCVCD) confirmed on August 9 that adult mosquitoes collected from the 95133, 95116, and 95112 ZIP code areas of San José tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The detection of mosquitoes infected with WNV has prompted the scheduling of a mosquito fogging treatment in the surrounding area, in an effort to prevent human cases of WNV. Weather permitting; the ground fogging is scheduled for Thursday, August 15, at 11:00 p.m., and is planned to last for several hours.
Acting District Manager Russ Parman notes that “We’ve recently confirmed the first WNV human case in the county for this year. This, along with the high levels of virus activity that we are observing, tells us that residents should continue to avoid mosquito bites and remove standing water from around the home.”
The fogging area is generally bordered by Berryessa Rd. on the north; E. San Antonio St. on the south; N. 19th St. and S. 23rd St. on the west; and North and South Jackson St. on the east. A live map can be viewed at http://goo.gl/maps/6aFZi.
Information packets will be distributed in the fogging area beginning on Tuesday, August 13, notifying residents about the fogging operation. As an added convenience, on Wednesday and Thursday staff from the SCCVCD will be available during extended hours from 7:30 am to 7 pm at (408) 918-3452 or (800) 314-2427 to answer questions and provide information.
Transmitted by mosquito bites, WNV causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, and, in severe cases, significant neurological damage or even death. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible. Since the 2003 arrival of WNV to California, 3,626 people across the State have contracted the disease; 131 of those cases were fatal.
Scientific/Technical Services Director Dr. Noor Tietze said, “Using preventive measures such as insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors can help decrease the risk of contracting this disease, and that’s especially important this season. We haven’t seen this much virus activity since 2007, which was our last “big” year following the arrival of WNV in 2004.”
Some practical measures against mosquito bites are:
• DRAIN or DUMP standing water weekly since this is where mosquitoes lay eggs. Check items such as flowerpots 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 outdoor 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:
• DRESS in long sleeve shirts and long pants, preferably of light colors.
• Apply insect repellent following label instructions.
Always contact the Vector Control District if you are being bothered by mosquitoes or know of a potential mosquito-breeding source.
Dead birds may indicate the presence of WNV. The District has recently completed its new laboratory, which allows in-house testing for WNV and other vector-borne diseases throughout the year. The District asks Santa Clara County residents to report crows, jays, or birds of prey that have been dead for less than 48 hours and do not appear to have died because of an injury. People who find those birds should call the State of California WNV hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (2473) or at www.westnile.ca.gov.
Residents can visit the District’s website at www.sccVector.org
to view a map of the fogging zone, read the latest alerts about WNV activity in the County, and request advice or services.
For free assistance on mosquito control, WNV, or other vectors, residents can contact the District office by calling (408) 918-4770 or fill out a service request online at www.sccVector.org.
Questions? Call (408) 918-3452 or (800) 314-2427.