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West Nile Virus Detected in Fullerton Mosquitos

West Nile Virus Detected in Fullerton Mosquitos

A mosquito sits on a stick in Martinez, Calif., on April 9, 2009. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sophie Li

Sophie Li

8/1/2023

Updated: 8/1/2023

Mosquitos in Fullerton have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, local authorities reported July 27.
According to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District, the virus was detected in one mosquito among a sample tested. No reports of human infections or positive tests in bird carcasses have been recorded as of Aug 1.
“Historically, we have seen more of [West Nile Virus] activity in the Fullerton area,” Brian Brannon, a spokesperson for the agency told The Epoch Times. “This is the first [mosquito] that we’ve found this season that carries [the virus].”
The agency regularly set up traps around the county to monitor mosquito activities, Mr. Brannon said, and researchers test samples for potential diseases carried by the mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is typically spread by the bite of infected mosquitos, which have become infected after feeding on birds carrying the virus. Once infected, mosquitoes can spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.
While 80 percent of people show no symptoms after being infected by the virus, ones that do have symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes skin rashes, according to vector control.
Rarely, individuals infected with West Nile Virus will develop severe illness with symptoms such as disorientation, coma, vision loss, and paralysis, the agency said. Such infections can also be fatal.
Gambusia affinis, more commonly known as mosquito fish, are seen swimming in a bag before being released in a neglected pool infested with mosquitos at a foreclosed home in Pleasant Hill, Calif., on June 29, 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Gambusia affinis, more commonly known as mosquito fish, are seen swimming in a bag before being released in a neglected pool infested with mosquitos at a foreclosed home in Pleasant Hill, Calif., on June 29, 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

To reduce the risk of being infected, officials recommend people reduce outdoor activities between dusk and dawn during mosquito season, which is from May to October.
But if unable, they say, people should use repellent and wear loose-fitting long pants and long-sleeve shirts to help reduce the risk of being bitten.
Additionally, getting rid of mosquitoes’ breeding sources—standing water—near businesses and homes is critical to prevent the virus’s spread, Mr. Brannon said.
“Any water that sits for more than five or seven days could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he said. “All you need to do is to dump the water that can have mosquito larvae in it.”
He recommends people regularly dump plant saucers, clear clogged drains, clean and scrub pet water bowls and buckets, and drain other water collecting spots around the house.
For those who have larger water features, like swimming pools and ponds, the agency also provides mosquito fish that will eat mosquito larvae in the water, he said.
“We don’t spray unless we absolutely have to and that’s better for the environment,” he said. “It also prevents the mosquitoes from building up their resistance to the spray.”
The latter is only used when there is a large abundance of mosquitoes or indication of disease, Mr. Brannon said.
Vector control urges people to report any large mosquito activities or dead birds by calling (714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421.
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Sophie Li

Sophie Li

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Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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