Mosquito & Vector News

West Nile virus: 1st local human case since 2013 reported in the High Desert

From The Sun
September 20, 2018

Public health officials have confirmed San Bernardino County’s first locally acquired human case of West Nile virus in the High Desert.

According to a statement issued by the county’s Department of Public Health, this is the first human case of the virus acquired in the county since 2013. In previous cases, officials suspected that the infection was contracted outside of the region.

West Nile virus can cause serious illnesses in humans, said Maxwell Ohikhuare, the county’s health officer. “I urge residents to take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” he said.

According to the California Department of Public Health, this year, Los Angeles County has reported nine human West Nile virus cases. Orange and Riverside counties have reported five cases each.

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Our babies are ‘little warriors’: how love is transforming tragedy in the wake of Brazil’s Zika outbreak

From The Telegraph
September 18, 2018

he birth of thousands of babies born with physical and mental disabilities as a result of the Zika virus may be heralding changing attitudes towards disabilities in Brazil.

In 2015 to 2016 Zika swept through Latin America and, while the virus usually produces fairly mild symptoms, this epidemic was linked to a spike in the number of babies born with birth defects to women who contracted the disease while pregnant.

Around 2,000 babies in Brazil were born with microcephaly – where the head circumference is smaller than normal – leading to developmental delay and physical problems. An unknown number of other children were born with other less severe impairments, also linked to the virus.

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Zika vaccine shows promise for treating deadly brain cancer

From Science Daily
September 18, 2018

Glioblastoma kills about 15,000 adults in the US each year and is currently incurable because patients experience a high recurrence rate of their cancer even after the standard treatments of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Scientists suspect this recurrence is due to cancer stem cells, called glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), which hide out in nearby brain tissue even after the combination of therapies.

“During the Zika epidemic, we learned that the virus preferentially infects neural progenitor cells in the fetus, and causes the devastating microcephaly seen in babies born to infected mothers,” says Pei-Yong Shi, a virologist at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He co-led the current study with tumor biologist Jianghong Man of the National Center of Biomedical Analysis in Beijing and virologist Cheng-Feng Qin of the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences in Beijing.

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West Nile Virus activity detected in Vacaville

From The Report News
September 17, 2018

A mosquito sample collected in Vacaville has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), according to the Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health Division and the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District (SCMAD).

The county confirmed the sample was collected in mid-August.

As of Sept. 13, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that WNV activity has been detected in 21 counties. This year, there have been 56 reported human cases of WNV infection throughout the state. Two WNV-related deaths have been reported to CDPH this year, from Glenn and Yuba counties.

“This serves as a reminder to the community to protect themselves and their families by avoiding mosquito bites,” cautioned Dr. Michael Stacey, deputy health officer for Solano County. “Residents need to be aware that we are still in the peak period for West Nile virus transmission.”

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West Nile Virus returns: Health officials say first ‘locally acquired’ case of virus reported in High Desert

From the Victorville Daily Press
September 16, 2018

APPLE VALLEY — The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has announced the first “locally acquired” human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) reported in the High Desert.

The recent local reported case of the virus is unlike the one encountered in 2013, when it was suspected the WNV infection was “acquired outside” of the region, health department officials announced Friday.

“West Nile Virus can cause a serious illness in humans, therefore I urge residents to take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites” said County Health Officer Doctor Maxwell Ohikhuare.

Area hospitals were aware of the county’s announcement, with St. Joseph Health, St. Mary spokesman Randy Bevilacqua telling the Daily Press that the Apple Valley medical facility is informing its staff and physicians about the health threat and preparing to take further action if directed to by the health department.

The WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, with signs and symptoms including fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. The most effective way to avoid WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites, officials said.

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Ohio State researchers progress toward Zika vaccine

From The Lantern
September 14, 2018

A Zika virus vaccine developed at Ohio State has shown to be an encouraging prospect for human trial.

If proven safe and effective, it could be the first known human Zika vaccine developed. Ohio State researchers published their findings in the Natural Communications journal in early August.

According to a news release from Ohio State, Jianrong Li, associate professor at Ohio State and lead researcher of this study, said the vaccine is extremely effective and has proven to be provisionally successful.

While the vaccine still needs to be tested on humans, it showed positive responses in mice. In the study, the vaccine transmitted up to three Zika proteins that activate the mouse immune system. By doing so, it was able to prevent the mouse from later contracting the virus.

“In this study, the vaccine was potent, safe and highly effective, at least in the short term,” Li said in the news release. “There’s a long way to go, but we think this is a promising candidate for a human vaccine.”

Though the Center for Disease Control reported the Zika virus was first discovered in 1947, there were no major outbreaks until 2007 in the Federated States of Micronesia. In 2015, a major outbreak struck the globe again, putting at least 170 million people at risk of contracting the virus.

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Threat of Zika Virus Still Significant in California

From the Infectious Disease Advisor
September 14, 2018

Since 2015, California has seen many travel-related Zika virus cases, and as the population of mosquitos that spread the virus continue to expand across the state, there is a significant risk for new Zika cases, according to results published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The Zika outbreak was first reported in Brazil in 2015, and numerous travel-related cases have since been reported in the United States.

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From Roseville Today
September 14, 2018

Placer County’s public health officer, along with the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District, are reminding residents to continue to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, after several human cases of West Nile virus and one death linked to the disease.

While West Nile activity typically begins in early summer, it can continue to peak into the fall.

Across the state, human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in 21 counties this year, with deaths in Glenn and Yuba counties. There have been seven cases in Placer so far this season, including one death.

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How the immune system protects against Zika-induced neurological symptoms

From Science Daily
September 13, 2018

A type of immune cell that produces a protein called CD4 plays an important role in protecting mice infected with the Zika virus against severe neurological disease, according to a study published September 6 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Amelia Kahler Pinto of Saint Louis University, and colleagues. Based on the findings, vaccines that induce strong responses from these immune cells, known as CD4+T cells, should be developed to prevent invasion of the Zika virus into the brain and spinal cord.

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus that has recently spread throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. In some cases, Zika infection during pregnancy causes severe birth defects such as microencephaly — a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected. Infection with the virus can also cause neurological disease in adults. With growing awareness of the increased risk of severe neurological problems associated with Zika virus infection, focus has shifted toward detection, defining correlates of protection, and the development of a vaccine or antiviral to protect against disease progression. However, efforts focused on prevention and treatment have been limited by the lack of knowledge about how to generate a protective immune response against this emerging pathogen.

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State confirms first two human West Nile virus deaths of 2018; cases in Glenn, Yuba counties

From the Lake County News
September 11, 2018

The California Department of Public Health reported that there are two confirmed deaths in California due to West Nile virus.

The deceased persons were residents of Glenn and Yuba counties.

“We are still in a peak period of West Nile virus transmission in the state so we urge everyone to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

As of September 7, CDPH has reported 56 human cases of WNV from 21 California counties this year. 

Additionally, 422 dead birds from 18 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2018, and 1,606 mosquito samples from 28 counties have also tested positive for WNV this year.

The only WNV detected in Lake County so far this year have been four mosquito samples and one sentinel chicken, state officials reported.

West Nile virus is influenced by many factors, including climate, the number and types of birds and mosquitoes in an area, and the level of WNV immunity in birds. 

It virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than 1 percent – can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People 60 years of age and older and individuals with diabetes or hypertension have a higher chance of getting sick, and are more likely to develop complications.

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Zika Virus Strips Immune Cells of their Identity

From UC San Diego Health
September 10, 2018

acrophages are immune cells that are supposed to protect the body from infection by viruses and bacteria. Yet Zika virus preferentially infects these cells. Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have now unraveled how the virus shuts down the genes that make macrophages function as immune cells.

The study is published the week of September 10 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .

In pregnant women, Zika virus can stunt neonatal brain development, leading to babies born with abnormally small heads, a condition known as microcephaly. Adult brain cells may also be vulnerable to the virus.

“We know Zika virus destroys a number of cell types, particularly in the brain, but we don’t yet understand how it causes cells to die or malfunction,” said first author Aaron Carlin, MD, PhD, associate physician at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “So this loss of general gene transcription and identity we saw in macrophages could also be crucial when a neural stem cell is trying to develop into a new neuron.”

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2 die in California from West Nile virus

September 10, 2018

Two people in California have died from the West Nile virus, public health officials said Monday.

One person died in Glenn County and the other lived in Yuba County, according to the California Department of Public Health.


The virus — which is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito — is in a peak period, the health department said.

“We are still in a peak period of West Nile virus transmission in the state, so we urge everyone to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health, said in a statement.

As of Friday, the department said it had reported 56 human cases of the virus in 21 California counties this year.

While the risk of serious illness from the virus is low, people over the age of 60 have a higher chance of getting sick, the health department said. People with diabetes or hypertension are also more likely to suffer complications.

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Mosquito Spraying to Continue in Mecca Due to “Persistent Virus Activity”

September 10, 2018

A mosquito capable of transmitting deadly diseases has made its home in an area around about 900 Mecca homes since first being discovered in the city last fall, local vector control officials said today.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit diseases like Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever, was first detected in the city last October, prompting several rounds of spraying applications so far to try and stem the species’ spread, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector 
Control District.

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Mosquito Problem Grows in San Diego’s North County

From NBC San Diego
September 6, 2018

During warmer weather and high tides, San Diego County does experience an increase of mosquitos, but a specific type of mosquito is growing in population along North County coastal communities.

This is the black salt marsh mosquito, formally known as: aedes taeniorhynchus.

San Diego County Vector Control is responsible for mosquito abatement, by aerial and on the ground treatment. Vector control said they have noted the increase in these types of mosquitos.

“This mosquito makes its living by breeding in the salt water pools that are left behind after we get an excessive high tide like the king tide,” said Chris Conlan an ecologist with San Diego County Vector Control. “Once the water recedes it can leave pools of standing salt water and this mosquito can breed in those pools of salt water.”

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Mosquito Spraying Due In Mecca Due To ‘Persistent Virus Activity’

From the Palm Desert Patch
September 5, 2018

MECCA, CA — An increase in mosquito-borne viruses in Mecca has prompted officials to increase efforts to control the Eastern Coachella Valley mosquito population to reduce transmission of West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis in the region, beginning with a round of helicopter spraying in the city starting Wednesday.

From Wednesday through Friday, from 8 p.m. to midnight each night, helicopter aerial applications will be conducted in the area bordered by the Salton Sea, Hayes Street, Buchanan Street and Avenue 69, excluding organic properties and fish farms, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

St. Louis encephalitis has been detected in Mecca and North Shore this year, while West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes found in Thermal, Palm Desert and Indian Wells.

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Mosquitoes Carrying West Nile Virus Detected in San Gabriel Valley

From Pasadena Now
September 5, 2018

A mosquito sample collected this past week in the city of Arcadia has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (SGVMVCD) announced Tuesday.

The SGVMVCD has been routinely monitoring populations of adult mosquitoes using traps and tests groups of adult female mosquitoes for the presence of the virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. It also tests wild birds, such as crows, which can provide insight into the spread of the virus.

Recently, the District adopted the City of Pasadena under its vector control jurisdiction, adding strength to the Pasadena Public Health Department’s efforts to eradicate disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Year-to-date, SGMVCD has confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in one dead bird and one mosquito sample in its jurisdiction.

“Autumn may be around the corner, but don’t let that fool you into thinking mosquitoes are gone,” Levy Sun, SGVMVCD’s public information officer, said. “Mosquitoes are opportunistic and, as long as the weather is warm, they will bite anyone who is not wearing repellent.”

Sun said their staff will continue to monitor mosquito sources in Pasadena and surrounding areas, and expand outreach activities to alert residents to the detection of the virus.

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Feeling itchy? Stealthy mosquito biting people in the Central Valley

From ABC 30
September 5, 2018

The small, striped Aedes aegypti mosquito has established itself in all areas of the Valley, and many of you have mosquito bites to prove it.

Sanger has become the latest battleground in the fight against a mosquito which can carry diseases such as Zika and Dengue Fever.

Everyone had a mosquito story to tell inside Emilio’s Barbershop. Luis Delgadillo explained, “Daytime, nighttime, anytime. Especially in the ankles man, especially ankles for sure.”

Sound familiar? It could be the same mosquito biting you over and over again.

Steve Mulligan of the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District said, “She doesn’t take a full blood meal at once so she’ll bite, get a little blood, buzz off, fly around. Maybe bite your other leg.”

Debug Fresno has been releasing male mosquitoes in Sanger neighborhoods as well as southeast Fresno and three areas of Clovis. The latest being south of Community Hospital.

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Mosquito storm hammered Ventura County, dangerous Aedes invaders not found

From VC Star
September 5, 2018

Invasive, potentially dangerous species of mosquitoes biting ankles and spreading concern across Southern California have not been identified in Ventura County. Yet.

Traps for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes have been set in areas including Westlake Village, Newbury Park and CSU Channel Islands near Camarillo, said Cary Svoboda, vector ecologist with Ventura County Environmental Health Department.

But the efforts have not brought confirmation of the species known for aggressive day-biting on lower extremities and a potential to carry imported diseases ranging from Zika to yellow fever, he said.

A torrent of day-biting mosquito activity in August is attributed to a different species — salt marsh mosquitoes from the Point Mugu area that were carried by the wind as far as Newbury Park. Now tapering off at least temporarily, the mosquitoes are aggressive biters but don’t transmit disease, Svoboda said.

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Zika Cases Continue To Increase In Florida

September 4, 2018

Florida has had 66 reported cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus this year, with the number increasing slightly during the past three weeks, according to information posted on the state Department of Health website.

The 66 cases reported as of Tuesday all are considered “travel” related — generally meaning people were infected with the virus elsewhere and brought it into the state. The total was up from 62 on Aug. 13.

Collier County had reported 25 cases as of Tuesday, while Miami-Dade County had the next-highest total at 16 cases. Orange County had nine reported cases, while other cases were reported in Broward, Palm Beach, Lee, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Osceola, Hernando and Walton counties.

The disease, which caused major concerns in 2016, is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause severe birth defects.

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Zika virus study reveals possible causes of brain pathology

From Science Daily
September 4, 2018

In healthy individuals, the Zika virus causes flu-like symptoms. If a pregnant woman becomes infected, the unborn child can suffer from severe brain abnormalities as a result of mechanisms that have not yet been explained. A study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPI-B) shows that Zika virus proteins bind to cellular proteins that are required for neural development.

A few years ago, Zika virus spread across South America, posing a health issue with global impact. A significant number of South American women who came into contact with the virus for the first time at the start of their pregnancy by a mosquito bite subsequently gave birth to children with severe disabilities. The babies suffered from a condition known as microcephaly; they were born with a brain that was too small. This can lead to intellectual disabilities and other serious neurological disorders.

Scientists succeeded in proving that these deformities are caused by Zika virus infections, but so far they have been unable to explain why. Andreas Pichlmair, Chair for Viral Immunopathology at TUM, and his team from the TUM Institute of Virology and MPI-B have examined how Zika virus influences human brain cells. They identified the virus proteins with the potential to affect neuronal development in the developing brain.

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Invasive Aedes mosquitoes spreading across Southern California

From the VC Star
September 1, 2018

Officials say a couple of invasive types of mosquito known as “ankle biters” are spreading quickly throughout Southern California.

Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for itchy, painful bites across greater Los Angeles.

Aedes mosquitoes were originally found in tropical and subtropical zones, but now they’re in Southern California.

“They are spreading like wildfire,” said Susanne Kluh, director of scientific and technical services at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. “Our phones are exploding.”

There are two particularly troubling types of invasive Aedes mosquitoes in Southern California.

Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, arrived first, having hitched a ride with shipments of lucky bamboo from China back in 2001.

Vector control specialists monitored plant nurseries across the county, and soon stopped finding the mosquitoes in their traps. They thought the insects had been eradicated. However, in 2011, residents in El Monte began to complain about unusually aggressive, daytime-biting mosquitoes plaguing the neighborhood.

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Labor Day Indicates Summer Is Winding Down But West Nile Virus Carrying Mosquitoes Are Still Very Active

Press Release From San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District
August 31, 2018

(STOCKTON, CA) – Labor Day typically reminds us that summer is winding down. Unfortunately, mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus (WNV) remain at high levels. With Labor Day on Monday September 3, 2018 many of us will be outside enjoying friends and family. Beware of mosquitoes and protect yourself from WNV. “The District is working hard to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in humans; however, people need to take precautions when outdoors,” said Aaron Devencenzi, Public Information Officer with the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District (District).

Remember to use mosquito repellent when outdoors. Using EPA registered repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus are recommended to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease. Some products with a higher percentage of an active ingredient will work longer to protect you. Read and follow the label instructions for proper use and protection time.

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Press Release from Contra Costa MVCD
August 31, 2018

The District Urges Citizens to Protect Themselves Over the Holiday Weekend

CONCORD, CALIFORNIA – The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District is reporting mosquitoes from Brentwood and Quimby Island, and dead birds from Martinez and Discovery Bay have tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first dead bird from Martinez to test positive this year. 
So far this year, 15 groups of mosquitoes, 10 dead birds, and 13 chickens from Contra Costa County have tested positive for the virus.  
According to the District’s Scientific Programs Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D., “West Nile virus season is still very active as we head into Labor Day weekend, and so it’s very important as county residents plan outdoor activities, that they remember to prevent mosquito bites by wearing repellent and by avoiding areas where mosquitoes are present.” 

Researchers patent fast, accurate technology for early Zika detection

From FIU News
August 30, 2018

In the first half of 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported only 34 symptomatic Zika virus disease cases, down from more than 5,000 in 2016. But, as the CDC notes, that does not mean that the virus is no longer of concern: where you live, where you travel, and where your sex partner(s) travel can affect your chances of getting Zika. And the state of Florida is still vulnerable to outbreaks because many of its neighbors and visitors come from actively affected areas.

This summer, researchers in the Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine patented a new way of detecting the Zika virus in patients significantly faster and earlier than methods currently being used.

With nano-enabled biosensors, “The electrochemical system we have developed can detect the virus in 40 minutes or less, using a smaller sample and at a lower level of disease,” says Madhavan Nair, professor and chair of the Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine.

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So-Cal is the USA’s Zika Hot-Spot

From Precision Vaccinations
August 29, 2018

August 29th, 2018 – Since the global Zika outbreak began in South America during 2015, a large number of travel-associated Zika cases have been reported in California.

As of August 2, 2018, the state of California reported 14 Zika virus cases during 2018.

Which represents 41 percent of all Zika cases reported in the USA.

Most of these travel-related Zika cases were identified in people who returned to the USA from Mexico or Central America, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additionally, a team of researchers said ‘with the continuing spread of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes in the border area of California, segmenting travel-related Zika case from a local transmission case, has become a diagnostic challenge for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).’

CDPH subsequently provided criteria for local health departments in California to consider in evaluating whether suspected persons without travel history should be considered for Zika virus testing.

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Placer County Sprays Rocklin And Roseville For West Nile Virus

From CBS Sacramento
August 29, 2018

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — New efforts started Wednesday night to help eradicate West Nile Virus in Placer County.

A plane began aerial spraying over parts of Roseville and Rocklin Wednesday evening. The 97-hundred acre area being treated has seen an alarming increase in birds and mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus according to the vector control district.

So far no human cases have been confirmed this year in the county.

Some residents have concerns over the spraying of residential neighborhoods — but officials say it’s the best way to prevent the outbreak of the potentially deadly disease.

Joel Buettner of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District explained that they spray a chemical designed to kill mosquitos.

“I’d be lying if I said it was perfectly safe just like a lot of other things. And any risk there may be is far outweighed by the way by the risk of getting sick,” Buettner said.

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Mosquito ‘breeding sites’ in Northridge among areas targeted for West Nile virus prevention efforts

From the Los Angeles Daily News
August 29, 2018

Mosquito breeding sites in Northridge and surrounding neighborhoods are the target of a wider effort to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly West Nile virus in Los Angeles County, including the San Fernando Valley.

Vector control district officials earlier this month identified six “chronic mosquito breeding sites” in Northridge and other northwest San Fernando Valley neighborhoods that Los Angeles city officials need to address. Those areas have large amounts of stagnant water pooling around clogged gutters and other public infrastructure, officials said.

Samples taken from mosquitoes in several San Fernando Valley communities, between July 3 and Aug. 16, showed the presence of the West Nile virus, vector control officials said. Those areas are Burbank, Encino, La Mirada, Montebello, Northridge, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley and Van Nuys.

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New Mosquito Video from Monterey County

Northern Salinas Valley MAD and Monterey County created an educational video all about mosquitoes – Click here to view the video.

Daytime mosquitoes bedeviling south Napa residents, students

From The Napa Valley Register
August 28, 2018

There’s nothing to like about the salt marsh mosquito.

They have a painful bite that can leave a welt. They like warm weather and daylight hours — exactly the same conditions that attract Napa humans to the out of doors.

This summer is a bad one for salt marsh mosquito bites. So many students in the Napa Valley Unified School District have been bitten since schools reopened two weeks ago that the district had to send out a letter this week explaining to parents what’s going on.

“It’s unusual for a kid to come home with mosquito bites after going to school. That’s made parents think, ‘Humm, what’s happening?’” said Elizabeth Emmett, NVUSD spokesperson.

Wes Maffei, manager of the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District, confirms that this is an exceptionally bad year for this summer biters.

Most years, the district is able to knock down their numbers with a larvicide applied to brackish and salty wetlands where they breed, Maffei said Tuesday.

Salt marsh mosquitoes are most commonly found south of Imola Avenue along the Napa River’s many marshes and wetlands, he said. They proliferate when high tides leave behind breeding pools of water.

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Spray repellent, wear long sleeves because virus-carrying mosquitoes are in Tulare Co.

From The Fresno Bee
August 28, 2018

Tulare County has confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in 2018 in an individual in Porterville.

Fresno County has had three cases of West Nile so far this year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

West Nile illnesses are causes by mosquito bites, and the same mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus also can carry St. Louis Encephalitis virus.

Health officials in Tulare are warning residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites. This year, in addition to West Nile, samples of mosquitoes in Tulare County have shown a higher number of positive test results for St. Louis Encephalitis than in past years.

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California mom bitten by ‘kissing bug’ warns others about danger of ‘silent killer’ parasitic disease

From Fox News
August 28, 2018

When Lynn Kaufer Hodson was bitten by a triatomine, also known as a “kissing bug,” she couldn’t even feel it. It wasn’t until a large, itchy lump appeared on her neck the next day that she realized some type of pest had sucked her blood.

Hodson had been staying with family in a camper on her ranch in Grass Valley, Calif., in November 2016 while she waited to move into her new home in Penn Valley — a town that was a roughly 30-minute drive away. 

At first, Hodson just believed a spider or mosquito had bitten her while she was staying in a fifth wheel camper. But weeks went by, and the bite mark continued to throb and itch.

“It was super itchy for like two or three weeks,” Hodson, 49, recalled to Fox News, though she admitted she initially decided against going to the doctor.

It wasn’t until two months later that Hodson learned — by accident — the type of deadly bug that had actually bitten her.

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Sentinel chicken in Lake County tests positive for West Nile virus

From Lake County News
August 28, 2018

LAKEPORT, Calif. – County officials said that recent tests have confirmed new findings of West Nile virus in Lake County.

This week’s sentinel chicken testing showed that one of the birds from the Upper Lake flock tested positive for WNV. 

Earlier this month, four mosquito samples from Lake County tested positive for West Nile, as Lake County News has reported. The positive samples were collected in Lower Lake (1), Middletown (2), and Upper Lake (2), and all four were the same species, Culex tarsalis, also known as the western encephalitis mosquito.

“This is typically the peak of the West Nile virus season, and activity continues through September,” said Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District. “Mosquitoes are still biting, and it’s important for residents to dump out any water where the mosquitoes can develop. To control mosquitoes in ponds, water features, livestock water tanks, or pools and spas that are not being maintained, residents can pick up mosquito-eating fish for free from our office.”

“If you plan to be outside when mosquitoes are active, use insect repellent applied according the directions on the label and reapply as directed,” said Dr. Erin Gustafson, Lake County deputy health officer. 

Dr. Gustafson added, “When we see chickens becoming positive for West Nile virus, the conditions are right for transmission to humans. It is important for medical providers to have an increased awareness and test for West Nile virus when they have a suspicion.”

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August 28, 2018

Mosquitoes capable of transmitting harmful viruses like Zika and yellow fever have been found in Rancho Mirage, prompting a round of planned door-to-door inspections, local vector control officials said Tuesday.

Two Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae and four mosquito pupae were recently collected in a Rancho Mirage neighborhood, making it the eighth Coachella Valley city where the species has been detected, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

District officials say the mosquitoes are capable of transmitting viruses like Zika, yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya, though those viruses are not currently being transmitted locally.

Door-to-door inspections will be carried out on an unspecified date at homes within a 450-foot radius of Gerald Ford Drive and Plumley Road, where the district’s technicians will search for and remove containers that can hold standing water in residential yards, a common breeding place for mosquitoes.

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Never thought that the mosquito bite would do this to my kid “Mom said”

From Industry Global News
August 25, 2018

A mother lives in North California is begging guardians to utilize bug spray after a mosquito chomp handled her child in the healing centre with seizures and cerebrum swelling.

Loraine Surratt’s 6-year-old child Noah spent right around seven days in the healing facility battling his way back to his family in the wake of being bit by a mosquito conveying La Crosse encephalitis, which can cause swelling of the mind

There were such a large number of times it experienced my brain, not knowing whether he would make it, Surratt said.

Noah’s lips were blue, eyes repaired looking and were totally limp he had a seizure, “Surratt reviewed in an extensive Facebook post that depicted the experience”.

It began on an ongoing Saturday when Noah started crying over a cerebral pain as the family made a beeline foresee his grandparents. Surratt said she gave her child some agony drug, which appeared to help. Noah and his more seasoned siblings remained medium-term with their grandparents, however regardless he whined of a cerebral pain when his mom checked in the following morning.

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California Ranks Fourth in Nation With Most ‘Neuroinvasive’ West Nile Cases

From NBC Los Angeles
August 23, 2018

Louisiana and Mississippi are leading the nation in the number of people who have become the most seriously ill from West Nile virus this year, with California coming in fourth. State health departments are warning residents to take precautions against mosquitoes, which spread the virus.

“Not in my house, not on my skin, not in my yard,” said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana’s state epidemiologist, as he repeated the state slogan for fighting the disease Wednesday. Precautions include making sure door and window screens don’t have holes; wearing long clothes and using mosquito repellent; and making sure the yard doesn’t hold any standing water where mosquitoes might breed — even a bottle cap.

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‘Ankle biter’ mosquitoes invade Southern California

From the Fresno Bee
August 22, 2018

Officials say a new species of mosquito known as the “ankle biter” is spreading quickly throughout Southern California.

The Daily Breeze reported Tuesday that Aedes mosquitoes are responsible for itchy, painful bites across greater Los Angeles.

The bites, which look like clustered pinpoint marks, quickly become inflamed and can expand into big red welts and rashes.

Vector control officials urge residents to clear outdoor standing water and make sure window screens are well-fitted.

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Dangerous species of mosquitoes known to carry diseases like Zika and Yellow Fever found in Los Banos

From ABC30
August 22, 2018

Efforts are underway to fight a dangerous species of mosquitos found in Los Banos.

The Merced County Mosquito Abatement found a mosquito known as the Aedes aegypti, which have the potential to transmit diseases like Zika and Yellow Fever

Rhiannon Jones from Merced County Mosquito Abatement said, “They are more like a backyard mosquito, this is the first time that mosquito has been introduced in this area.”

Jason Bakken says unlike your average mosquito, these can bite at any time of the day.

He says the mosquitos they found aren’t necessarily infected, but it has the potential to carry the diseases.

Bakken said the goal now is to, “Ramp up our efforts for surveillance, figure out how far this infestation goes, try to find the boundaries, see how widespread this is.”

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Yellow Fever, Zika mosquitoes found in Merced County, officials say

From the Merced Sun-Star
August 21, 2018

A foreign mosquito capable of transmitting several fatal human diseases has been found in Los Banos, according to the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District.

The invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, known as the “yellow fever mosquito,” was discovered Tuesday morning in a residential area in the 93635 area code of the City of Los Banos, according to the district. It’s the second location detected in Merced County following the discovery of the mosquito last year in the City of Merced.

The mosquito, which has been detected in 13 other California counties, is capable of transmitting diseases such as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, according to a news release.

The extent of the infestation is being evaluated by the district, the release states. Door-to-door inspections are planned for residential properties to determine where there may be standing water where the mosquitoes can breed.

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Next-gen insect repellents to combat mosquito-borne diseases

From Science Daily
August 20, 2018

The scientists will present their research today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Our new repellents are based on how nature already works,” Joel R. Coats, Ph.D., says. “For example, citronella, a spatial repellent that comes from lemongrass, contains naturally occurring essential oils that have been used for centuries to repel mosquitoes. But citronella doesn’t last long and blows away easily. Our new, next-generation spatial repellents are variations of natural products that are longer-lasting and have greater repellency.”

Coats and graduate students James S. Klimavicz and Caleb L. Corona at Iowa State University in Ames have been synthesizing and testing hundreds of compounds against mosquitoes. They knew that sesquiterpenoids, which are found in many plants, are effective insect repellents, but these large molecules are difficult to isolate from plants and hard to make and purify in the laboratory.

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West Nile virus found in horses

From The Press
August 20, 2018

The California Department of Agriculture  recently issued the following press release on West Nile virus detected in horses in Sacramento, Kern and Placer counties:

A dangerous disease, West Nile virus, has returned to California this summer. Last week, four horses were diagnosed with the disease – two in Sacramento County and one each in Kern and Placer counties. Two of the horses have been euthanized due to the severity of neurologic signs, and the other two are alive and receiving veterinary care.

Horse owners are reminded to have their animals vaccinated to make sure they are maximizing protection against the disease. And once vaccinations occur, horse owners should be checking regularly with their veterinarians to make sure they stay current.

Californians can also do their part to prevent the disease by managing mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. Eliminate standing water and work to limit mosquito access to horses by stabling during active mosquito feeding times (typically dusk to dawn), and by utilizing fly sheets, masks or permethrin-based mosquito repellents.

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Shasta County reports first case of West Nile virus

From the Record Searchlight
August 18, 2018

While 80 percent of people infected with West Nile have no symptoms, health officials advise the public to tell their doctor if they have had any recent mosquito bites and contact their health provider immediately if they do experience any of the symptoms mentioned.

Health officials advise residents to follow the “Four Ds” to avoid the virus:

  • Drain standing water every four to five days around the house, tires, cans, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water.
  • Dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active. Health officials say it’s best to limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Defend yourself and your home by using an effective insect repellent and making sure screens on doors and windows are in good condition. Always follow label instructions on insect repellent carefully.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk in areas where mosquitoes are active.

This year in Shasta County, the West Nile virus was found in two dead birds, four mosquito samples, one horse and one person.

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Yearly total of West Nile virus cases in Contra Costa jump by 50 percent in one week

From the East Bay Times
August 18, 2018

DISCOVERY BAY — The number of birds and mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus has increased by 50 percent in the past week, the county Mosquito & Vector Control District reported on Friday.

In the past week, there have been four groups of mosquitoes, four dead birds and one group of Sentinel Chickens that have tested positive for the West Nile virus. The discoveries have doubled the number of dead birds found with the virus in Contra Costa County for this year and nearly doubled the number of positive mosquito groups.

Usually, the months of August and September, when baby birds are leaving their nests and mosquitoes bite more often, are when the virus peaks, the district warned.

“As we enter the peak of West Nile virus season we’re starting to see more widespread activity,” said Steve Schutz, the district’s scientific programs manager. “People in all areas of Contra Costa County should be protecting themselves against mosquito bites.”

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Female mosquitoes get choosy quickly to offset invasions

From Science Daily
August 16, 2018

At issue is the displacement of Aedes aegypti (yellow fever) mosquitos by a cousin species, Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger), which occurred in the southeastern United States in the 1980s. In this “battle of the Aedes,” the invading A. albopictus decimated A. aegypti populations throughout the Southeast, leaving smaller A. aegypti populations in Key West, Florida, Arizona and a few other southern locales. A. aegypti mosquitoes carry and spread many diseases that harm humans, including Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya.

Part of the takeover was attributed to how the larvae of each species grew; A. albopictus mosquitoes seemed to be able to outcompete the native mosquitoes. But another factor also played a huge role in the battle: When A. aegypti females mated with A. albopictus males — a genetic no-no — those females became sterile for life, a process called “satyrization.” A. albopictus females didn’t face the same fate; no offspring were produced when they mated with A. aegypti males, but they were later able to be fertile when mating with males of their own species.

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NIH begins clinical trial of live, attenuated Zika vaccine

From EurekAlert!
August 16, 2018

Vaccinations have begun in a first-in-human trial of an experimental live, attenuated Zika virus vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The trial will enroll a total of 28 healthy, non-pregnant adults ages 18 to 50 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the Vaccine Testing Center at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. NIAID is sponsoring the trial.

Although most people experience a mild illness or no symptoms when infected with Zika virus, babies born to women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy may have birth defects and/or develop health problems in their early years.

Zika virus is primarily transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito or can be transmitted through sex. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that pregnant women should not travel to areas with risk of Zika. CDC also recommends that partners of pregnant women and couples considering pregnancy should know pregnancy risks and take certain precautions. The U.S. Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry has recorded the number of pregnant women with laboratory evidence of possible Zika virus infection since 2015. As of July 17, 2018, the registry had recorded 2474 pregnancies in states and the District of Columbia and 4900 pregnancies in U.S. territories and freely associated states.

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West Nile virus found in mosquitoes in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale

From the Mercury News
August 14, 2018

West Nile virus was detected in mosquitoes collected from an area around the 94087, 95050 and 950512 zip codes in parts of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, the Santa Clara County Vector Control District announced Monday.

The vector control district is planning a targeted treatment operation on Wednesday in an effort to prevent human cases of West Nile virus, which has resulted in 292 fatalities statewide since 2003.

The vector control district said the truck-mounted treatment will begin at 11 p.m. and last about three hours. The boundaries of the area being treated include Cabrillo, Machado, Santa Maria and Warburton avenues to the north, Long Street, Scott Boulevard, Fairfield Avenue and Robin Drive to the east, E. Homestead Road, Lehigh and Kenyon drives, Forbes and Taft avenues to the south and Swallow and Teal drives, Turnstone Way, Halford Avenue and Lawrence Expressway to the west. The map is available here.

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In the war on West Nile Virus, mosquito-eating fish are the latest biological weapon

From the Los Angeles Daily News
August 14, 2018

Millie Cavafian lives in South Pasadena next door to a vacant home with an old swimming pool teeming with green algae.

“Five minutes out of the house and we are bitten by mosquitoes. We have kids and they have complained about it,” she told Marc Mitchell, vector control specialist.

Mitchell scooped several mosquito fish from his bucket and let them swim free into the murky pool waterAt one end of the kidney-shaped pool, rings popped up in the green muck marking where mosquito larvae were jumping up for air.

“Thank you for addressing that one over there,” Cavafian said to him.

One look at these skinny topminnows being dropped into pools, fountains and flood control channels and you would never know they have a voracious appetite.

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Experts recommend longer follow-up period for children exposed to Zika

From Healio
August 14, 2018

For children with suspected or confirmed exposure to Zika virus in utero, the CDC recommends screening for signs of congenital Zika syndrome and other birth defects by 1 month of age. The agency also recommends evaluating children for microcephaly until age 24 months and older. However, authors of a recent editorial published in Trends in Microbiology are now suggesting that because the effects of Zika virus infection may extend well into childhood, regular screening may be necessary through adolescence.

Approximately one in 10 U.S. pregnant women with confirmed Zika virus infection had a fetus or baby with birth defects in 2016, according to the CDC. The highest risk for birth defects occurred when mothers were infected in the first trimester.

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From Action News Now
August 13, 2018

Chico, Calif.– Maybe the most infamous pest of the summer season is the mosquito – with reports of West Nile Virus in recent years across the North State, these pests can be a serious problem.

We know already that there are several mosquitoes in Butte County plagued with WNV; Honcut, Palermo, and Dayton – the virus is here.

With increasing mosquito populations, the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District urges residents to take all precautions necessary to drain any and all unneeded standing water, report any suspected mosquito-breeding sites and protect themselves from the bites of mosquitoes.

Remove standing water on your property from plant saucers, clogged gutters and garden containers — they’re potential breeding sites.

There’s an array of products marketed to help deal with mosquitoes and other annoying flying critters: sprays, herbs, zappers, citronella, coils, lanterns, candles, oils, dunks, fogs, torches, table-top diffusers, wipes, lotions and one-time yard treatments.

And another creepy-crawly that makes itself known in warm weather is the spiders.

They have plenty of benefits, but that doesn’t mean we want to see them all over our homes.

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West Nile virus found in dead birds in eastern Contra Costa County

From The Mercury News
August 11, 2018

West Nile virus was found in two dead birds and mosquitoes in eastern Contra Costa, the county Mosquito & Vector Control District said Friday.

The district warns the virus peaks in August and September, when baby birds leave nests and mosquitoes bite more often.

So far in 2018, there was one other dead bird and four other groups of mosquitos who tested positive for the virus in Contra Costa County, the district said.

“This puts people at higher risk of virus transmission and so it’s important for Contra County residents to take steps now to avoid mosquito bites,” said Steve Schutz, the district’s scientific programs manager.

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Dead birds, mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Discovery Bay area

From 7 News
August 11, 2018

Two dead birds found in Discovery Bay have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District.

In addition, mosquitoes found in Oakley and Discovery Bay also tested positive, the district said Friday in a news release.

There have been a total three dead birds and five groups of mosquitoes so far this year to test positive for the virus in Contra Costa County, according to the district.

“West Nile virus activity typically peaks in August and September, when baby birds have left their nests and mosquitoes begin to feed on humans more often,” Steve Schutz, the district’s scientific programs manager, said in a statement.

Last month, the district’s sentinel chicken flock in Martinez tested positive, the first sign of West Nile virus activity in the central part of Contra Costa County.

Since 2005, 63 Contra Costa residents have been diagnosed with West Nile virus, according to the district. In 2006, two people died from the disease.

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