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209 Ground Zero region for West Nile virus



It is a bird. It is an airplane. It is the Mosquito and Vector Control District of San Joaquin County that are trying to ensure that you do not catch the West Nile virus.

Last week, social media residents posted theories about a low-flying, fast-moving plane being spotted over the Woodward Park sub-division – causing a barrage of phone calls to the Manteca police and eventually calling on the city on his Facebook page about the incident.

According to Mosquito spokesman and Vector Control, Aaron Devencenzi, the identified aircraft sprayed in an area south of Manteca and west of Ripon, but had to use an offset approach because of the winds in the area – where the pesticides would fall once Wind patterns were taken into account. Because of the unique spraying conditions, Devenzenzi said that people probably saw the plane flying over areas that were not traditionally sprayed, but none of the pesticides used near Manteca last week fell over the residential areas that reported the unexpected air traffic ,

And as the summer draws to a close, it was a busy time for the agency to protect the people of San Joaquin County and prevent other mosquitoes that spread deadly communicable diseases from taking root.

The virus has been on the radar of health professionals since arriving in California 1

5 years ago, but it is being watched with particular attention in San Joaquin County this year, as the area has emerged as part of the region's largest concentration of affected adult mosquitoes throughout the state.

This means that the northern San Joaquin Valley and the Southern Sacramento Valley have been a hotbed of spraying to prevent the disease from being transmitted to humans.

This year, four people in San Joaquin County have contracted the virus, while five confirmed cases have been reported in Stanislaus County.

The Sacramento County, from which Devencenzi claimed that he had been actively working to keep the population low in the state of California in the number of dead birds that were reported – a marker of West Nile virus activity – with 211 of the 363 birds that contain the virus.

San Joaquin County leads the entire state with the number of cases in mosquito samples with 313 – about 25 percent of all positive mosquito samples in the state. Together with the 257 positive samples from Sacramento County and the 67 from Stanislaus County, the area contains nearly half of the adult mosquitoes that have contracted the disease.

While spraying serves to keep the population low and prevent infection, residents are encouraged to take the necessary precautions outdoors, especially in the early morning or late evening hours.

These include:

uThe control of your property for stagnant water and disposal as needed. Abandoned swimming pools have been an important breeding ground for mosquitoes during the economic downturn, but something as small as an old tire or a bucket that has collected rain or sprinkler water can provide the environment for mosquitoes to grow.

u Use of mosquito repellent containing the ingredients DEET or picaridine outdoors according to the instructions for use.

Avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active, which is usually at dawn and dusk, and especially for the first two hours after sunset.

Wear long trousers, long-sleeved shirts, and other protective clothing when forced to be outside, especially during rush hours.

Make sure windows and doors have snug screens to keep active mosquitoes out of the house.

Devencenzi said that the district is working diligently to announce the location of the areas to be sprayed at least 24 hours in advance, both with ground vehicles spraying from a tree for smaller areas and larger areas. The exact location of the spraying depends on the results of tests with mosquitoes collected in dozens of traps across the country.

Both types of spraying, said Devenzenzi, use less than one ounce of pesticide per acre to be treated. Any spillage will normally break out in the sunlight the next day. Both trucks and airplanes are equipped with special nozzles to control the amount of pesticides used. The exact types are listed on the district's website.

The virus is typically transmitted by birds and transmitted by mosquitoes that feed on their carcasses and then bite humans. The state of California has a website to report dead birds for removal and subsequent study, which can be found at www.westnile.ca.gov.

To report abnormal mosquito infestation or daily biting, request email updates to spray sites, or receive additional information on efforts to control the West Nile virus in San Joaquin County, contact San Joaquin Mosquito and Vector Control District at 209.982.4675 or visit them on the Internet at www.sjmosquito.org.

To contact the reporter Jason Campbell by email [email protected] or call 209.249.3544.


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