West Nile virus found in San Onofre mosquitoes

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A batch of mosquitoes in San Onofre tested positive for West Nile virus, the first such find of the year, San Diego County Vector Control officials said Thursday.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can be fatal to humans in rare circumstances. The county usually finds WNV in dead birds, but none have been reported this year.

“Finding positive mosquito batches is significant because mosquitoes do not travel far from the site of the infection,” said Jack Miller, director of the county Department of Environmental Health. “People should take personal precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

He urged people to protect themselves by eliminating backyard breeding grounds for mosquitoes, staying inside when they are most active and using insect repellents.

DEH workers in May began a campaign of spraying larvicide into ponds and other still bodies of water, and releasing mosquito-eating fish, in order to limit the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the WNV causes serious problems for about one in 150 infected patients, sometimes causing paralysis and permanent neurological damage. About 80 percent of those infected show no symptoms at all.

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