West Nile Virus on the Rise in San Bernardino County

Photo courtesy: Google Images

Photo courtesy: Google Images

Staff Reports

Ontario– Local medical centers have reported a rise in West Nile virus exposures in San Bernardino County.

In response, San Bernardino County’s Public Health Department, local vector control agencies and San Bernardino County’s Sheriff Department have joined forces to reduce the risk of exposure.

On Oct. 10, the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (WVMVCD) reported a total of 212 mosquito samples tested positive in the district.

The San Bernardino County Vector Control Program also had 8 positive mosquito samples in basins and channels in Chino, Ontario, and Chino Hills during the past two months.

County entities will remain vigilant with reporting the common breeding areas for mosquitoes, district officials said in a news release. These areas are typically found in stagnant bodies of water and unmaintained pools.
“Aviation helicopters utilize mapping systems that are downloaded with the County’s parcel information,” sheriff officials said. “If an area is observed during the crew’s proactive patrol, the flight officer can obtain the specific address information. Once identified, the information will be forwarded to Vector Control for any enforcement or corrective action.”
The West Valley District’s Board President Glenn Duncan urges residents to maintain vigilant and wear repellents when outdoors at peak biting times, dusk and dawn.

In addition, the West Valley District is distributing repellent wipes and mosquito dunks (a larvicide homeowners can use) to residents in an effort to help them in the fight against mosquito-transmitted diseases.

The West Valley District also provides mosquito fish, a small, guppy-like fish that residents can put in standing, permanent sources of water like ponds, fountains, and water gardens. West Valley Vector Control District consists of the cities of Chino, South Montclair, South Ontario and areas of unincorporated county land, including Chino Hills and the Dairy Preserve. Visit their website for more information, www.wvmvcd.org.

Most people infected with the virus do not become seriously ill, some experience flu-like symptoms and about 1 percent of them can develop serious neurologic illness. People who are 50 and over or who have pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure have the greatest risk of developing complications.

Until the weather cools, residents are urged to continue taking precautions, by remembering the three D’s:

  • DEET:Use it as insect repellent.
  • Dawn and dusk:Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening.
  • Drain:Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, because that’s where mosquitoes breed.