Remember West Nile Virus Safety This Fourth of July


Jul 02, 2008, 01:00 ET from Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Fourth of July
 weekend approaching and families and friends gathering outdoors, the
 Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC) is
 encouraging everyone to take precautions against West Nile virus.
     "Individuals should enjoy the outdoors, but use personal safety
 precautions to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus and other diseases,"
 said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public
 Health. "Wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and
 eliminating standing water are just a few prevention measures."
     As of June 27 this year, West Nile virus activity has been detected in
 19 of California's 58 counties, according to the California Department of
 Public Health. On June 20, 2008, a Tulare County woman tested positive for
 West Nile virus infection, the first reported human case in California this
 year. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can result in
 debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis and death to humans,
 horses, avian species and other wildlife. In 2007, West Nile Virus resulted
 in 16 deaths in California and sickened more than 379 others.
     The following safety precautions are recommended by the California
 Department of Public Health:
     -- DEET -- Apply insect repellant containing DEET, picaradin or oil of
 lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions.
     -- DRESS -- Wear clothing that reduces the risk of skin exposure.
     -- DAWN AND DUSK -- Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus bite in the
 early morning and evening, so it is important to wear repellent at this
 time. Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or
 replace screens that have tears or holes.
     -- DRAIN -- Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all
 sources of standing water, including flower pots, old car tires, rain
 gutters and pet bowls.
     -- Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a
 significant mosquito problem where you live or work. Contact information
 can be found on MVCAC's Web site:
     California's West Nile virus Web site -- --
 includes the latest information on West Nile Virus in the state. In order
 to help identify West Nile virus activity, Californians are encouraged to
 report all dead birds and dead tree squirrels by calling toll-free
 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473).
     MVCAC represents 63 special districts and other subdivisions of local
 government responsible for mosquito and vector control, surveillance of
 West Nile Virus and other vector-borne diseases, and public education
 programs to help Californians protect themselves from the disease. MVCAC
 advocates safe, effective and environmentally friendly methods of mosquito
 and vector control.

SOURCE Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California