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Mosquito Virus is a Concern

(4/17/06)

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A large amount of rain has fallen recently. Experts are worried about flooding. But they are also worried about a disease. The disease is called West Nile Virus. County officials have found two dead birds. They tested the birds for the disease. The results were positive. The birds were infected with West Nile Virus. The test results are making scientists concerned.

West Nile Virus is a disease that is carried by mosquitoes. Officials want to get rid of the mosquitoes because they carry West Nile Virus. Birds eat the mosquitoes and get sick. People can get the disease if they are bitten by an infected insect.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. All the rain has left a lot of water in ponds, old tires and trees. These locations are excellent breeding grounds for the insects. Warm weather has helped the mosquito eggs to hatch. The mosquito population is increasing. The county has sent workers out to check these locations. The workers are inspecting wet areas. If they find mosquitoes they will spray poison on them to kill them.

“Mosquitoes just find a way to get in there and lay their eggs. It’s crazy” said Dennis Chan. Mr. Chan works for the Mosquito Control District. Mr. Chan says it is critical for people to drain standing water from their yards.

There are other ways residents can help stop the spread of West Nile Virus. Officials urge people to dress in long sleeves and pants. They say using an insect repellant can help. Also, make sure window and door screens are intact to keep bugs outside.

The symptoms of the disease are like the flu. However, it can lead to other more dangerous brain problems. These problems can be fatal.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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