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Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile Virus

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September 1, 2011

A batch of mosquitoes collected in San Onofre has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first positive test this year for the potentially deadly disease, County Vector Control officials said Thursday.

“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.”

ProtectYourself from Mosquito Bites:  Protect yourself from the virus by staying inside when mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn, and by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors. Use insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR 3535 when you are outdoors. Make sure window and door screens are in good condition and are secured.

Prevent Mosquito Breeding:  Backyard water sources are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents should dump or remove anything that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys, old spare tires and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as unused swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.

Report Dead Birds and Green Swimming Pools:  Please report dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks, owls, and green swimming pools to the Vector Control Program at 858-694-2888. Vector Control provides free mosquito fish to control mosquitoes in backyard water sources including green swimming pools. 

Sign Up for Text Messages:  By texting the word PEST to the number 75309 from any cell phone, users will receive vital health alerts and the latest information about the virus. For example, you might receive a message regarding the location of where birds or mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus, or you might receive tips on how to protect yourself from the disease.

For more information about West Nile virus and what you can do to protect yourself, call 858-694-2888 or visit