Murrieta, California-Vector management officials say that the West Nile virus among netted mosquitoes in Murrieta will require pest control work in nearly five acres of space in the city this week.
The Riverside County Environmental Health Department plans to spray “ultra-small amounts” of pesticides in the area of Calvary Murita Christian School between 5 am and 7 am Wednesday.
Agency spokesman Brent Casey said a group of trapped mosquitoes near a school with increasing pest counts tested positive for West Nile.
The spray treatment was planned within the area surrounded by Jackson Avenue to the north, Monroe Avenue to the south, California Oaks Road to the east, and Interstate 15 to the west.
Mosquito sprays include the use of chemicals approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The pesticide is released as a scattered mist from a machine fixed behind the pickup truck.
Authorities recommended that residents stay indoors during operation and close windows for at least 15 minutes after the truck departs.
So far this year, two West Nile virus infections have been reported in Riverside County.
A total of 46 WNV infections have been recorded across the state, the largest number in Northern California, according to the California Department of Health. There was one WNV-related death in Los Angeles County.
Mosquitoes usually become carriers of the virus after eating infected birds and can spread potentially deadly strains to animals and humans. The highest risk is for older people and individuals with impaired immune systems.
Symptoms do not occur, but may include fever, headache, nausea, body pain, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes.
WNV also affects horses. On Monday, an unvaccinated 5-year-old Friesian horse in San Juan County, showing neurological signs, was confirmed to be positive for West Nile virus. Horses are alive and recovering, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
This is the 11th confirmed case of horse WNV in California in 2020. Positive horses were found in the following counties: Butte (1); Glen (1); Merced (1); Riverside (2); San Bernardino (1); San Joaquin (2); Stanislaus (2).
Seven of the infections occurred in unvaccinated horses, and four horses had unknown vaccination history. Eight horses are currently alive, one dead and two euthanized, according to the CDFA.
Vaccination and mosquito control minimize the risk of WNV transmission in horses. The American Association of Horse Practitioners recommends annual WNV vaccination.
The mosquito season in Southern California is generally from May to October. To reduce exposure to mosquitoes carrying WNV, residents are required to:
— Avoid spending as much time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are commonly moving.
— Wear trousers and a long-sleeved shirt when doing outdoor activities in mosquito-prone areas.
— Use insect repellent.
— Make sure the door and window screens are properly installed to prevent bugs. And
— Remove standing water, apart from a bucket of water for animals to drink and a pool properly treated with chemicals.
If you have any concerns, please contact the Environmental Health Department (951-766-9454).
—City News Service and patch editor Toni McAllister contributed to this report.
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