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West Nile virus and invasive mosquitos arrive in Shasta County

Mosquitoes being tested for West Nile virus. (KRCR){p}{/p}{p}{/p}{p}{/p}
Mosquitoes being tested for West Nile virus. (KRCR)

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Positive tests from samples of adult mosquitos in the Anderson and Shingletown area confirm the West Nile virus has returned to Shasta county.

The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMVCD) said in a press release Saturday that the positive tests came from routine collections as part of their surveillance program. The district is now attempting to decrease mosquito populations through ground treatments in areas where the positive mosquitos were found. They are also continuing their widespread mosquito trapping and testing to monitor virus activity.

“These positive samples are earlier when compared to previous years, but the higher temperatures can increase virus transmission rates in mosquitoes,” says Peter Bonkrude, SMVCD Manager. “The next few weeks are showing above-average temperatures that are conducive to mosquito production and virus transmission, so people need to protect themselves from mosquito bites."

As of Saturday morning, SMVCD says no humans have been infected with the virus, or anyone across California for that matter.

The invasive mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is also posing a concern for the Redding area this year, first detected in 2020. Surveillance efforts have detected the mosquito in the city of Redding this year.

"Invasive mosquitoes pose a significant health threat because they can transmit dangerous viruses including Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya," reads the press release.

SMVCD urges people to follow their "4 D's" of protection to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Drain any standing water that may produce mosquitoes, this includes flowerpots, old tires, and buckets. Some species of mosquitoes can lay their eggs in very small sources of water, like a bottle cap.
  • Defend yourself and your home by using an effective insect repellent and making sure screens on doors and windows are in good condition.
  • Dusk or Dawn, avoid outside activities.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when mosquitoes are active.
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SMVCD is available to answer questions about their services, the West Nile virus or new emerging mosquito-borne diseases via their website or by calling the district at (530) 365-3768.

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