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Mosquito Awareness Week Reminds Californians To Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus

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edans / Flickr

As temperatures climb, so does the mosquito population.

This week is Mosquito Awareness Week in California, which reminds residents to take precautions to avoid bites. Aaron Devencenzi with the San Joaquin Mosquito Control District says the main concern is the spread of West Nile virus.

“West Nile virus is throughout California and it’s important that people remember that disease is active,” he said. “We can get sick from that disease. We’ve had people from throughout the state die from West Nile virus and we want to reduce the overall population of mosquitoes from getting that disease.”

Last year California counted 218 cases of the virus spread by mosquitoes, 11 of which were fatal. And this year the state has seen 125 percent of normal rainfall, which means ideal conditions for mosquito breeding.

Devencenzi says reducing the mosquito population can start at home by removing any standing water.

“That could be in buckets, that could be in old tires without a wheel in there, it could be in small containers,” he said. “Mosquitoes can develop in as little as a tablespoon of water.”

Devencenzi says so far this year, the virus has been detected in Orange and San Diego counties. Spraying has already begun, and people are urged to use repellent when outdoors.

Copyright 2019 Capital Public Radio