STATE LEGISLATURE DECLARES APRIL 22-28 WEST NILE VIRUS AND MOSQUITO AND VECTOR CONTROL AWARENESS WEEK
SACRAMENTO— Mosquitoes and warm weather go hand in hand. Coinciding with the arrival of mosquito season, the California State Legislature declared the week of April 22-28, 2012 as West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness Week in California. West Nile virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis, and lead to death in humans, horses, some bird species and other wildlife.
“West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses continue to threaten public health in California,” said Ken Bayless, president of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC). “Since these diseases are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes, it is important that residents take extra precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites and prevent mosquito breeding in their neighborhoods.”
The following safety precautions are recommended by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH):
- Eliminate or manage all sources of standing water to discourage mosquito breeding.
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and the first two hours after sunset.
- If you are outdoors when mosquitoes are biting, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Apply insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). Always apply according to label instructions.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Residents in Marin or Sonoma county should contact the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District if there is a significant mosquito problem or potential mosquito breeding source where they live or work.
According to the CDPH, 158 human cases of West Nile virus were reported in 2011. Of the reported cases, there were nine fatalities. CDPH and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict West Nile virus will again pose a public health threat in California in 2012. Adequately funded mosquito and vector control, disease surveillance and public awareness programs are the best way to prevent outbreaks of West Nile virus and other diseases borne by mosquitoes and other vectors.
To learn more about activities in your area for West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness Week, contact Nizza Sequeira, Public Relations Director for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District at (707) 285-2093 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.msmosquito.com for more information about the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District and ways the public can protect themselves mosquitoes and vector-borne diseases.
MVCAC represents more than 65 special districts, other subdivisions of local government, and the State of California, which are responsible for mosquito and vector control, surveillance of West Nile virus and other vector-borne diseases, as well as public education programs to help Californians protect themselves from disease. MVCAC advocates safe, effective and environmentally friendly methods of mosquito and vector control.