SAN JOSÉ, CALIF. - The Santa Clara County Vector Control District (SCCVCD) confirmed on May 16th that adult mosquitoes collected from the 95008, 95117, 95126 and 95128 ZIP code areas 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 May 22nd at 11:00 pm, and is planned to last for several hours.
Acting District Manager Russ Parman notes that “This is the first indication of WNV infected mosquitoes in Santa Clara County this year, and the earliest detection ever, beating the prior 2008 record by 13 days .” The fogging area is generally bordered by Rosedale Dr., Moorpark Av. and Fruitdale Av on the north, Phelps Av. on the west, Leigh Av. on the east, and East Campbell Av. on the south. A live map can be viewed at http://bit.ly/TclIlw.
Information packets will be distributed in the fogging area beginning on Tuesday May 20, notifying residents about the fogging operation. As an added convenience, on Wednesday and Thursday, staff from the Santa Clara County Vector Control District and the Public Health Department will be available during extended hours from 7:30 am to 7 pm via a dedicated phone line/voicemail (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 arrival of WNV to California in 2003, 4004 people across the State have contracted the disease; 145 of those cases were fatal.
Scientific / Technical Services Manager Dr. Noor Tietze stated that “this underscores the need for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and to eliminate standing water on their properties.”
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 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/(800) 675-1155 or fill out a service request online at www.sccvector.org.