West Nile Virus increases in San Bernardino

TE3OYAfCLeg-9xMrApRdJsS5PDFbb2ScLrwWMZQQAowBy Francisco Villegas |Staff Writer|

West Nile Virus (WNV) has increased in San Bernardino county.

Recently cases of people being tested positive for the virus have been from cities around the same area, such as Chino and Yucaipa.

“The viral disease-transmitting, non-native Aedes albopictus, native to tropical and subtropical Southeast Asia, was identified in the San Bernardino County city of Upland on Oct. 15 and confirmed that same day by the state’s insect-borne disease specialists,” said San Bernardino County Public Health Department spokeswoman Claudia Doyle.

Health officials said there are no signs of the virus in most cases; however, the virus can have a bigger effect on elderly people and those with diabetes and hypertension .

The rain San Bernardino county received as of late was a factor of in the increase of the virus.
The increase of the West Nile virus has also affected local counties.

“Vector control is working with different types of mosquitoes, there are different types of mosquitoes and a big population,” said Maria from the Riverside County mosquito control.

Mosquitoes tend to breed in containers such as car tires and buckets humans leave outdoors after it rains, according to the Daily Bulletin.

“The program includes testing suspect cases in humans and horses, capturing and testing mosquitoes, testing sentinel chickens and evaluating dead birds,” according to the Riverside County disease control website reads.

“A comprehensive surveillance program to monitor for WNV in San Bernardino County has been established by the Department of Environmental Health Vector Control, local mosquito and vector control districts and other state and local agencies,” stated in an advisory by the San Bernardino Sheriff Department.

Local officials are working with the communities to stop the virus from increasing and spreading to other areas.

“Over the past several years, Sheriff’s Aviation and County Public Health-Vector Control have been involved in a cooperative plan to reduce the West Nile Virus exposures in San Bernardino County,” according to highlandnews.net.

There are steps local residents can take to prevent coming into contact with WNV.

Health officials recommend that residents apply insect repellent containing DEET, Picardin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus, as stated in The Press Enterprise.

To reduce the virus in the communities, residents should report dead animals, including birds, to their local county and avoid leaving unattended water which attracts the insects to breed in neighborhoods, according to The Press Enterprise.

“Fueled by recent rains, the number of San Bernardino County residents confirmed to have West Nile Virus has now reached 31, surpassing last year by one case,” according to The Daily Bulletin.

To report a mosquito problem in the area, call San Bernardino County at (800) 442-2283 or www.sbcounty.gov.


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