Mosquitoes Are Coming
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Warm March Prompts West Nile Virus Warning
An early warning is going out about West Nile virus because of the warm March California experienced.
"Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are breeding earlier this year due to warm weather," said State Public Health Officer Mark Horton. "While no predictions can be made about the severity of West Nile virus this season, Californians should begin taking precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites by eliminating all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding and applying insect repellent containing DEET."
People are also urged to avoid being outdoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Or wear long-sleeve shirts and pants.
No human cases of the mosquito-carrying infection have been detected in 2007. However, mosquito vector districts report mosquito pools with the virus have been found in Stanislaus, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Imperial, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Some districts, such as San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District offer free mosquitofish to reduce the mosquito breeding pools.
In the vast majority of human cases, people don't even know they have the virus or experience mild flu-like symptoms of fever, head and body aches. In the most serious cases, a virus-infected person may contract encephalitis.
West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.
(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)