Virus Activity Detected Earlier Than Other Years

Department of Health and Human Services
Ann Edwards

5/24/2012 10:00 PM

Media Contact:

Laura McCasland    (916) 875-2008


Contact:  Luz Maria Rodriguez, Public Information Officer, Office: 916.405.2082 | Cell: 916.416.6337
Elk Grove, Calif. — The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed the first five positive mosquito samples and two new dead birds infected with West Nile virus in both Sacramento and Yolo counties. Though birds had already tested positive in recent weeks, the positive mosquito samples found in both counties are coming much earlier than previous years and could signal a longer and very busy mosquito season. “This virus activity detected in the mosquito population is about a month early. Typically we don’t detect infected mosquito samples until July,” said David Brown District Manager. Based on the California Department of Public Health virus risk assessment, the District is in emergency planning mode. “We want to do what we can now to reduce immature mosquitoes and areas where they breed before they emerge as adult mosquitoes” added Brown.  The mosquito samples that tested positive were collected from traps in the city of Davis in Yolo County and the Gerber/ Bradshaw area of South Sacramento County.
This recent West Nile Virus activity comes as area residents prepare to enjoy outdoor activities for the long holiday weekend. “Please protect yourself from mosquito bites by using an effective mosquito repellent” said Brown. District staff will be working to reduce mosquito populations, but it only takes one bite from infected mosquito to become seriously ill.
In response to the detection of WNV activity, the District is following the Mosquito and Mosquito Borne Disease Management Plan and will increase its mosquito trapping and surveillance in the area to find sources where mosquitoes may be breeding. Ground spraying may also be conducted to rapidly decrease the numbers of infected adult mosquitoes.
For current information about District activities, please visit Residents may also subscribe to mailing lists to receive email notifications for upcoming mosquito treatments by zip code. To sign up, go to Spray Notifications on the website. 
2012 West Nile virus activity update:
Level  2--Sacramento County: 7 dead birds and 4 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus
             to date.
Level 2--Yolo County: 1 mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile virus to date