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More West Nile Virus Found – Neglected Pools May Be To Blame

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District has confirmed two more crows infected with West Nile virus and is awaiting confirmation on an additional bird. The birds were collected from the cities of Baldwin Park and Covina. Last month, the District reported its first indication of WNV activity in an infected crow collected from the city of West Covina.

Crows travel great distances in a given day and it is often difficult to identify where they might have become infected with WNV. However, once infected, they are capable of infecting local mosquitoes that feed on them thereby increasing local transmission risk. Thus far, no mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV.

Of added concern, 62% of Los Angeles County dead birds reported to the State WNV Hotline last week were from the San Gabriel Valley. “This is not good news,” said Kenn Fujioka, Assistant Manager at the District, “WNV activity is increasing rapidly now that the weather has warmed. Residents must take an active role in addressing this public health problem.”

Residents are encouraged to:
1. Report all dead birds to the WNV Hotline – (877) WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or www.westnile.ca.gov.
2. Check for and remove all standing water around the home.
3. Report mosquitoes and neglected pools, spas, and fountains to the District at (626) 814-9466 or www.sgvmosquito.org.
4. Wear protective clothing and repellents on exposed skin when outdoors in the evening or early morning hours.

One neglected swimming pool can breed millions of mosquitoes placing an entire neighborhood at risk. The District’s annual Helicopter Surveillance Program has identified a record number of neglected pools this year. All of the WNV infected crows have been collected from areas with a high density of neglected pools.

“We have already seen an unbelievable increase in neglected pools. So far, 827 have been spotted from the air, nearly twice that seen at the same time last year, and we’re not finished yet” notes DeAndre Ware, the District’s Technician overseeing the Helicopter Surveillance Program.

“Our partnership with Pasadena Police Department’s Foothill Aerial Support Team has been a life saver, literally” noted Fujioka. “Suppressing early-season mosquito populations is a critical component of our proactive WNV suppression program.”

To combat this problem, the District is hiring additional field personnel and encourages the media to assist us in getting this information out to the public.

MEDIA: PLEASE VISIT THE DISTRICT’S WEBSITE (SGVMOSQUITO.ORG) FOR MAPS SHOWING LOCATIONS OF NEGLECTED POOLS AND WNV INFECTED BIRDS.

Throughout the summer, protective measures should be followed:
? DRAIN: Check properties weekly and remove all sources of standing water. Report ‘green’ inoperable pools or other sources of standing water to the District
? DAWN AND DUSK: Wear effective repellents if outdoors when mosquitoes are present (between dusk and dawn)
? DEFEND: Ensure doors and windows are properly screened

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District is a pubic health agency dedicated to the control of mosquito and other vector-borne diseases.
The District can be reached at 626-814-9466 or on the web at www.sgvmosquito.org

June 30, 2011

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