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Was bitten already? | myMotherLode.com



Sonora, CA – Have you ever been bitten? Now is the time to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the potentially deadly West Nile virus (WNV).

The Tuolumne County Health Department and the California Health Department (CDPH) are calling on all residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites during the WNV season. This goes on until early fall.

"West Nile virus activity is increasing throughout the state, so it's important to take all possible precautions to protect against mosquito bites," said the state health officer and CDPH director. Karen Smith. 1

9659004] Currently, health officials say WNV activity is within the expected level and is similar to last year's activity at the time when 217 WNV cases were reported in California, including 11 deaths. Since the virus was first discovered in 2003, there have been 6000 cases across the state, resulting in a total of 303 deaths. The risk of illness from WNV increases as summer progresses and decreases in early autumn as the weather cools.

Late spring rains have contributed to stagnant water, which, according to health authorities, serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes that can spread WNV. They find that the virus is affected by factors such as climate, number and species of birds and mosquitoes in a region and the strength of West Nile immunity in birds. For most people, the risk of developing a serious disease is low, according to health authorities, but they add that less than one percent can develop serious neurological conditions such as encephalitis or meningitis. Most susceptible are people over the age of 50 and those with diabetes or hypertension.

The CDPH recommends using the "three-Ds" to protect against the virus:

1. DEET – Apply an insect repellent with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) registration containing DEET, picaridine, lemon eucalyptus oil or IR3535 according to the instructions on the label. Repellents registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are recommended as recommended by the Tuolumne County Health Department. Contact: Michelle Jachetta, Public Information Officer 209-533-7427 mjachetta@co.tuolumne.ca.us Insect repellents should not be used in children under 2 months of age. For more information, see the CDPH Insect Repellent Toolkit.

. 2 TOMORROW AND DAWN – mosquitoes that transmit WNV usually bite in the early morning and evening. Therefore, it is important to wear appropriate clothing and protective gear while out of doors during this time. Make sure your doors and windows have tight-fitting mosquito screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace sieves with cracks or holes.

. 3 PROCEDURE – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on stagnant water. Remove any stagnant water sources on your property by emptying flowerpots, old car tires, pails and other containers. If you know that a swimming pool is not properly maintained, contact the Environmental Health Department of Tuolumne County.

The county environmental health authorities have collected dead birds and looked for the virus. Last year there was an increase in the activity of dead birds where positive WNV cases were detected. The public is requested to report dead foul by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473) or clicking here.

Written by Tracey Petersen Hotline 532-6397. Send photos of the Mother Lode News Story to news@clarkebroadcasting.com. Sign up for our FREE daily myMotherLode.com newsletter by clicking here.

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