Mosquito & Vector News

St. Louis encephalitis resurfaces in Orange County

From the Los Angeles Times
October 15, 2019

Mosquitoes collected in Anaheim and Westminster have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis — the first occurrence in those cities in three decades, Orange County officials announced Tuesday.

The mosquitoes were collected late last week along Old Bolsa Chica Road in Westminster and near Dale and Orange avenues in Anaheim, according to Heather Hyland of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The last time any St. Louis encephalitis-positive mosquitoes were found in those areas was 1987, according to the district. Mosquitoes testing positive for the virus
were found in 2017 near the vector control offices in Garden Grove, the agency said.

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Mosquitoes Carrying Encephalitis Found In Orange County

From Lake Forest Patch
October 15, 2019

ANAHEIM, CA —Mosquito samples in Orange County cities of Westminster and Anaheim tested positive for Saint Louis Encephalitis, the OC Vector Control District confirmed, Tuesday.

“(We) have not seen SLE positive mosquito samples in this area since 1987,” a spokeswoman for OC Vector Control District said. As such, they will continue to seek out additional breeding areas to eradicate the insects.

In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result. There are no vaccines to prevent nor medications to treat SLE. There are no confirmed cases of human infection at this time in Orange County. Severe neuroinvasive disease (often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) occurs more commonly in older adults.

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Living with Infectious Mosquitoes

From Scientific American
October 14, 2019

Vector-borne diseases, those carried by organisms that can transmit them between humans or from animals to humans, account for more than 17 percent of all infectious diseases. The most commonly known vector, the mosquito, carries some of the deadliest diseases of this kind, including dengue fever, Zika virus, malaria, chikungunya virus, West Nile virus and yellow fever. More than half of the world’s population in more than 128 countries—from Vietnam to Sudan, the Caribbean and the U.S.—are at risk for contracting a vector-borne illness.

Dengue fever alone accounts for 96 million cases a year. In fact, Thailand reported a staggering 20,000 cases of dengue fever in just the first five months of 2019. More than half of those infected were children. Thailand’s public health ministry has explained that the rainy season, along with a new school semester, makes children the most vulnerable and has urged parents and teachers to take preventive measures against mosquitoes.

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Residents Urged To Take Precautions After West Nile Virus Found In Mission Viejo

From the Mission Viejo Patch
October 12, 2019

From the City of Mission Viejo: The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District has confirmed the first mosquito sample infected with West Nile virus (WNV) in the City of Mission Viejo.

The mosquitoes were collected in a mosquito trap located near San Rafael and Napoli Way on Oct. 10. An inspector will monitor the area for any additional findings.

Mosquitoes get infected when feeding on birds with the virus, and the insects pass on the virus to humans. Symptoms of the virus include fever and head and body aches. In rare cases, it can be fatal with young children, the elderly or people with a weakened immune system most vulnerable.

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Infectious mosquitoes found in Antelope. Here’s how to prevent them from spreading

From the Sacramento Bee
October 11, 2019

A new discovery of an especially infectious type of mosquito in the Antelope area has officials advising residents to take steps to help stop them from spreading.

Officials with the Sacramento-Yolo mosquito and vector control district said they recently detected yellow fever mosquitoes, an aggressive species of day biters known as Aedes aegypti, in Antelope. The species has been linked to diseases such as the Zika virus, chikungunya and dengue fever.

Previous reporting by The Sacramento Bee documented detections of that species in August and September in Citrus Heights. The species is not native to California but the mosquitoes have permanently settled throughout the state.

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France reports 1st local Zika virus case of 2019

From Outbreak News Today
October 11, 2019

French health officials reported (computer translated) the first autochthonous Zika case of the year. The case was confirmed in Hyères city, Var department in southeastern France. The patient had no recent history of travel outside the country.

The Regional Health Agency, Public Health France and the Mediterranean Interdepartmental Agreement for Mosquito Control (EID) continue their investigations (entomological and epidemiological) to determine the origin of the case and prevent the spread of the disease.

Mosquito control efforts are being undertaken in the neighborhood of the patient’s residence. The anti-vector campaign was conducted in the rue de l’Orangerie, the surroundings of Sainte-Marguerite Hospital and rue des Citronniers.

This includes the spraying of insecticide on public roads – took place in this residential area where the person lives between 4 and 8 hours.

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New program will focus research on combating Zika virus

From UW Medicine
October 10, 2019

A new program delving into how viruses and bacteria attack the fetus, and how the body fights back, has been created at UW Medicine. The research program was made possible after two UW Medicine researchers received almost $19 million in National Institutes of Health grants over the past several months.

The funding has launched a Program on Maternal-Fetal Health within the Center for Innate Immunity and Disease, said Kristina Adams Waldorf, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and one of the two researchers receiving the grants. The other key program leader will be Michael Gale, Jr., director of the center and professor of immunology.  Both are on the faculty of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

“We’ll be looking at the early immune response (to the virus) and how that plays a role in protecting or injuring the fetus and causing pregnancy complications,” said Adams Waldorf, who is an obstetrician and a scientist. The creation of the program will formally bring together teams that have worked for the past three years on understanding how Zika virus regulates the immune response in pregnancy. The team also will test a new therapeutic to try to prevent Zika infections in pregnant mothers who have been exposed to the virus.

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Zika: Researchers Are Learning More About The Long-Term Consequences For Children

From NPR
October 9, 2019

In 2015, Zika virus swept through Brazil and the Americas. It was the first time a mosquito-borne virus was known to cause severe birth defects, and the World Health Organization declared it a “public health emergency that warranted a global response.”

“This was a truly unprecedented phenomenon,” says Dr. Albert Ko, an epidemiologist at Yale who has worked in Brazil for over two decades. “There was a new, emerging pathogen in the world.” The pandemic’s emergency status was lifted in November 2016. But it left more than 3,700 children born with birth defects — the most severe of which is microcephaly, where babies are born with small heads and brain damage — in its aftermath.

In the three years since it ended, the pandemic has become an object of obsession for scientists, who have published more than 6,000 research papers about it. What did they conclude? To find out, Ko and two colleagues reviewed a selection of those publications. They found that researchers have been able to follow long-term health consequences in children infected with the virus before birth. But progress on beating the pandemic turned out to be an impediment to further research into vaccines and diagnostics that could help prevent other epidemics in the future.

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Three UC San Diego researchers receive top honors with NIH Director’s Awards

From SDNews.com
October 9, 2019

Three University of California San Diego researchers recently received prestigious awards through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, including the Pioneer Award, the program’s top honor.

These awards, supported by the NIH Common Fund, were created to support unconventional approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. The awards are given to exceptionally creative scientists proposing high-risk, high-impact research at all career stages.

Rob Knight, Ph.D., was awarded the Pioneer Award to support his research into developing new approaches to support healthy microbiomes. Knight is a professor of pediatrics in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, a professor of bioengineering and computer science and engineering in the Jacobs School of Engineering and the director of the UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation. 

The Pioneer Award was established in 2004 to encourage researchers at all career levels “to pursue new research directions and develop groundbreaking, high-impact approaches” to broaden their field and explore new research opportunities. Knight is one of 11 visionary researchers to receive this award in 2019.  

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West Nile Virus claims life in LA County

From the Compton Herald
October 6, 2019

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death due to West Nile virus for the 2019 season in Los Angeles County. The patient, a resident of the South Bay area, was hospitalized and died from WNV-associated neuro-invasive disease.

“West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County,” said Muntu Davis, M.D., Los Angeles County Health Officer. “We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items.

“Residents should protect themselves from diseases spread by mosquitoes by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products, especially during the peak mosquito season which lasts from June to November in Los Angeles County,” Davis said.

Humans get WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus; therefore, most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to WNV.  Those who do get WNV may experience mild symptoms including fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. In some cases, especially in persons over 50 years of age and those with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, severe WNV infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord causing meningitis, encephalitis, and paralysis. There is no specific treatment for WNV disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.

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Number of human cases of West Nile Virus in Kern County now at 15

From Bakersfield Now
October 5, 2019

Three new human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Kern County, bringing the total count to 15.

This is according to the California Department of Public Health, which monitors and counts cases of the virus around the state.

Kern County has the second highest number of human cases of West Nile Virus in the state.

Fresno County has by far the most at 45. Tulare County has 13.

Nineteen of California’s 58 counties have confirmed human cases of the virus.

According to the California Department of Public Health, West Nile virus is “a mosquito-borne disease that was originally found in Africa.”

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At least 11 people have died from a rare mosquito-borne illness

From KTVZ
October 2, 2019

LANSING, Mich. – A fourth person in Michigan has died of the rare Eastern Equine Encephalitis mosquito virus, raising the death toll to eleven nationwide.

Calhoun County officials received confirmation Wednesday that a Battle Creek resident died from EEE complications. With such a high concentration in Michigan, officials scheduled aerial pesticide treatments for Wednesday night for parts of the state. Residents were able to opt out of the pesticide spray.

This year has seen an unusual uptick in the number of reported cases and deaths. Typically, there are only five to 10 human cases reported in the US each year, with about 30% of all cases resulting in death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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First 2019 West Nile Virus Death Reported in LA County

From SCVNews.com
October 2, 2019

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death in the county due to West Nile virus for the 2019 season.

The patient, a resident of the South Bay area, was hospitalized and died from WNV-associated neuro-invasive disease.

“West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County. We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items. Residents should protect themselves from diseases spread by mosquitoes by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products, especially during the peak mosquito season which lasts from June to November in Los Angeles County,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer.

Humans get WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus; therefore, most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to WNV. Those who do get WNV may experience mild symptoms including fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. In some cases, especially in persons over 50 years of age and those with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, severe WNV infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord causing meningitis, encephalitis, and paralysis. There is no specific treatment for WNV disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.

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Health officials confirm first West Nile virus death in L.A. County this year

From the Los Angeles Times
October 2, 2019

A South Bay resident has died from a neuroinvasive illness caused by West Nile virus, marking the first confirmed death this year from the mosquito-borne disease in Los Angeles County.

Public health officials confirmed Wednesday that the patient was hospitalized and died from a West Nile virus-associated illness that affects the central nervous system but did not provide details about the person’s age or when they got sick.

“West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County,” Dr. Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County health officer, said in a statement. “We encourage residents to check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or clear out those items. Residents should protect themselves from disease spread by mosquitoes by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products, especially during the peak mosquito season, which lasts from June to November in Los Angeles County.”

This year, California has seen at least 112 confirmed human cases of West Nile, including three other deaths in Amador, Fresno and Imperial counties. There have been nine documented cases in L.A. County, excluding Long Beach and Pasadena, where cases are identified by local health departments.

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Chicken Found With West Nile Virus In Ventura County

From KSRO
October 1, 2019

A chicken in Fillmore has tested positive for West Nile virus. Ventura County health officials are warning residents to take precautions including removal of standing water and wearing insect repellent when outside. Last month a horse in Simi Valley tested positive for the virus. There have been 112 human cases of West Nile across California this year, but none so far in Ventura County.

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Mosquitoes, dead birds from both counties have tested positive for the virus

From The California Aggie
September 29, 2019

Public health officials overseeing Yolo and Sacramento County have confirmed the presence of mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus in both counties. Officials are advising residents to take steps to prevent infection during mosquito season, which began in early August and is set to end in mid-to-late October. 

Two dead birds and 102 mosquitos have tested positive for the virus in Yolo County, according to the most recent data from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. In Sacramento County, 71 mosquito samples and 38 dead birds tested positive for West Nile virus.

While there are no cases of humans being infected with the virus in either Sacramento or Yolo County, there are 89 confirmed human infection cases in California, with two related deaths, according to the state government’s West Nile website

According to Luz Marie Robles, the public information officer at the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, there are more positive samples of the virus this year compared to last year in Yolo County. These numbers don’t necessarily indicate a spike in West Nile virus activity in the area. Compared to state and regional averages, this season has been “slow” for West Nile Virus, Robles said. 

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California‘s Zika Cases Came Home With Travelers

From Zika News
September 29, 2019

September 28th, 2019 – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently reported 25 travel-associated Zika virus infections in California residents during 2019.

Within California, the CDPH has confirmed on September 6, 2019, persons exposed through travel to an affected Zika virus area or contact with a traveler includes these cities:

  • Berkeley = 8
  • Long Beach = 12
  • Pasadena = 2

This new CDPH information is actually good news when compared with 2018 when 68 travel-associated Zika cases were confirmed in California.

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UK Travelers Avoided the Zika Virus

From Zika News
September 25, 2019

September 25th, 2019 – A new study found the number and risk of Congenital Zika virus infections for international travelers returning to England and Wales from Zika-affected countries were very small.

Published on September 4, 2019, this study reported 16 women were diagnosed with the Zika virus (ZIKV) during pregnancy in the UK during 2016. 

Among the offspring of these women, there was laboratory evidence of Zika infection in only 1 child.

This is very good news since in 2015 and 2016, around 980,000 million UK women of childbearing age traveled to countries affected by the ZIKV outbreaks.  

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At Least 8 People Have Died in the U.S. From a Rare Mosquito-Borne Illness

From KTLA 5
September 24, 2019

A third person has died of Eastern equine encephalitis in Massachusetts, raising the reported death toll from the rare mosquito-borne illness to eight nationwide.

The victim is among the 10 confirmed human cases of the illness previously reported in Massachusetts, the state’s Department of Public Health said Monday.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but potentially fatal illness caused by mosquito bites. Typically, five to 10 human cases are reported every year, with about 30% of all cases resulting in death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We continue to emphasize the need for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites,” Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said in a news release last week. “It is absolutely essential that people take steps to avoid being bitten by a mosquito.”

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OCMVCD: ‘HIGH LEVELS’ OF WEST NILE VIRUS ACTIVITY IN NORTH OC

From OC Weekly
September 23, 2019

The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) is still seeing “high levels” of West Nile Virus activity in North Orange County, the agency said Monday.

“OCMVCD routine tests of mosquito samples indicated additional WNV positive mosquito samples found in a 4 square mile area that includes portions of the cities of Anaheim (1 Sq. Mile), Buena Park (0.3 Sq. Miles), Cypress (0.77 Sq. Miles), and Stanton (1.88 Sq. Miles),” states a Sept. 23 OCMVCD news release. “The increase of WNV positive mosquito samples indicates an increased risk for residents to become infected with WNV through a mosquito bite.”

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Invasive mosquitoes plunge deeper into Southern California

From the Desert Sun
September 23, 2019

Two invasive species of mosquitoes that can carry Zika, dengue, yellow fever and other dangerous viruses are spreading in California — and have been found as far north as Sacramento and Placer counties.

There are now 16 counties where Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, has been detected, according to the state Department of Public Health. Five of those counties have also detected Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito.

These mosquitoes, distinguished from other species because they primarily sip human blood during the day instead of at night, can spread the Zika virus, which infected more than 1 million people during an epidemic that began in 2015 in Brazil. The virus also can spread during sex.

More than 3,000 babies were born with microcephaly in Brazil during the epidemic. Microcephaly is a condition in which a baby’s head is much smaller than expected, and can occur because the baby’s brain has not developed properly.

 

Yale Center Beijing hosts talk about threat of emerging infectious diseases

From Yale News
September 23, 2019

The ways our changing physical and social environment have shaped the emergence of infectious diseases around the world was the focus of a talk by Yale epidemiologist Dr. Albert Icksang Ko on Sept. 5 at Yale Center Beijing.

Ko, who is chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health and professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at the Yale School of Medicine, also told an audience of Yale alumni and friends about how researchers at Yale are applying innovation and novel analytical approaches to develop solutions for these new global health threats.

Ko began his talk by looking back at the history and development of the field of public health. He pointed to the increase in life expectancy and the decrease in childhood mortality as clear signs of the global progress made over the last few decades in combating infectious diseases. Much of this progress can be credited to simple solutions like vaccines and oral rehydration therapy, he said.

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Mosquitoes which may carry Zika virus found in Nebraska

From KLKN-TV
September 23, 2019

Specialists with the Center for Disease Control are in the town of York. They’re studying a rare type of mosquito that can carry the Zika virus and are finding out why they are in Nebraska.

The species- Aedes Aegypti was found in York during a routine trapping.

Officials want to know how it got there before the public catches any exotic diseases.

In late August, members of the health department were doing their routine mosquito trappings for the year when they got a call back from the labs saying they found a species of mosquito that wasn’t supposed to be in Nebraska.

“These mosquitoes, these Aedes Aegypti, we’re just trying to verify if they’re here. We do not expect that they are carrying diseases, so right now we are just trying to find out if they’ve moved into our area from other parts of the southern united states or from another area in the world,” Executive Director of the Four Corners Health Department, Laura McDougall said. 

The people are worried: is this a mosquito that can carry Zika virus?

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Utah on Alert After Aedes aegypti Mosquito Carrying Zika Virus Found

From News 18
September 17, 2019

Libby Nance, Mosquito Abatement District Manager of Moab in Utah, is warning residents to drain or dump standing water on their property due to the presence of a new invasive mosquito known as Aedes aegypti, or the “yellow fever mosquito,” which can carry the Zika virus and yellow and dengue fever.

Zika virus is mosquito-borne, primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti, in tropical and subtropical regions. Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening.

This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Zika virus is also transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy, through sexual contact, transfusion of blood and blood products, and organ transplantation.

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Clouds of biting mosquitoes’ scattered around Coos County

From KTVL
September 16, 2019

COOS COUNTY, Ore. (KCBY) — Rain showers mixed with warm evenings this September has resulted in clouds of biting mosquitoes scattered around Coos County, particularly noted around Myrtle Point and Coquille, Coos Health & Wellness officials said Friday.

“The nuisance will continue until water temperatures are cold enough to stop eggs and juveniles from emerging from the water as biting mosquitoes,” officials said. “Mosquitoes are a nuisance and can spread disease. As long as evening temperatures stay warm, consider it worth the effort to inspect your yard and dump out water from any containers that can produce mosquitoes such as buckets, flowerpots, bird baths, old tires and even clogged rain gutters.”

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Mosquito activity high in Bakersfield

From Bakersfield.com
September 16, 2019

A species of mosquitoes is infesting Kern County and it has already taken over at least 50 neighborhoods. 

That’s according to Gene Abbott, manager at Kern Mosquito and Vector Control. The species, Aedes aegypti, an aggressive, day-biting mosquito, has the potential to spread viruses such as dengue fever, yellow fever, or Zika virus but it has not progressed to that stage yet, Abbott said. But they are impacting people’s quality of life.

About 90 percent of Bakersfield is currently impacted by the mosquitoes, Abbott said. They’ve most recently expanded into Oildale and northwest Bakersfield, he said. 

“Though they’re not carrying any diseases yet, they are a nuisance,” Abbott said. “These are the mosquitoes that interrupt backyard barbecues and birthday parties. They could very well be a concern in the future.”

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Encephalitis virus found in Chino mosquitoes

From Champion Newspapers
September 14, 2019

The West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District detected the presence of St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus in mosquitoes collected this week near Comet Avenue and Chino-Corona Road in Chino.

“This is the first time since the formation of the district (in 1983) that SLE has been detected in our area,” said district manager Michelle Brown.

SLE has also been detected in the Central Valley, as well as Riverside and Orange counties, she said.

The mosquitoes carrying SLE are not the black and white “Aedes” mosquitoes that have been aggressively biting residents day and night, but the native “Culex” mosquitoes, Dr. Brown said.

SLE is a mosquito-transmitted virus in the “flavivirus family,” which is the same as the West Nile Virus, Dr. Brown said.

Symptoms are similar to West Nile Virus, which include headache, fever, dizziness and nausea.

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Threatening invasive mosquito on its way to Napa County

From the Napa Valley Register
September 14, 2019

Napa County Mosquito Abatement District is cautioning county residents after an invasive mosquito species capable of spreading disease was found in several Northern California counties a little more than a week ago.

The non-native mosquito, Aedes aegypti, also known as the yellow fever mosquito, was first discovered in Southern California in 2013, according to Abatement District General Manager Wes Maffei. It has since steadily spread north through the state.

Maffei said the mosquito can spread disease, namely dengue fever, Chikungunya, Zika virus and yellow fever. Though there has never been a locally acquired case of those diseases in California, the presence of the yellow fever mosquito creates a risk of transmission from residents who were sickened abroad.

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1 person tests positive for West Nile Virus in Merced County

From ABC30
September 13, 2019

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Merced County has reported its first human case of West Nile Virus infection this year.

The patient is expected to fully recover, officials said.

So far in 2019, there have been 62 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus infection in California.

This summer, mosquitoes carrying the virus have popped up across the Central Valley, and mosquito control districts have been ramping up their efforts.

Authorities encourage people to do their part by clearing standing water from their property to keep mosquitoes from breeding (that includes small containers of water, dishes under potted plants, animal water dishes, etc.).

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Do You Still Need to Worry About Zika?

From Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials
September 12, 2019

While it has primarily faded from mainstream news, Zika is still active in many parts of the world. Even if the mosquito apocalypse that many feared never actually happened, the risk still largely remains for pregnant women and hopeful-to-conceive parents.

Ob/gyn Oluwatosin Goje, MD, discusses what you need to know about Zika.

The Zika threat has decreased, but it’s still there

“Zika is still a threat for some travelers, but there’s been a big decrease over the past two years of reported Zika transmission,” explains Dr. Goje. “Zika is not an epidemic in the U.S., but there are still some countries with active Zika.”

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West Nile Virus Mosquitoes Found In Southern California

From the Canyon News
September 12, 2019

WOODLAND HILLSThe Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District released information to the public concerning an outbreak of the West Nile Virus in Southern California.

Officials say infected mosquito samples were collected in four new areas: Montebello, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier, and Woodland Hills. The control district revealed the details to the public to serve as an early warning system in the detection of mosquito-borne viruses that can infect people and animals.

According to Los Angeles’ CVCD, the summer heat can increase West Nile Virus activity and mosquito populations. According to a press release from the LA CVCD, 57 West Nile Virus human cases have been reported in California; four of which were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The West Nile Virus has no cure and is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. One in five people infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash which can last for several days to months. Over 1 in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization.

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The Monterey County Mosquito Abatement District is on a mission to eliminate the pests.

From Monterey County Weekly
September 11, 2019

At first glance, it appears as if Vince Sanchez is looking at a cup of water with a floating clump of dirt inside. It’s only through a microscope that the particles – some 200 eggs – come into focus.

These eggs will hatch within a few days into larvae, wiggly spindles barely large enough to see with the naked eye. They’ll live at the surface of a pool of water for several days, shedding their skin four times before molting and changing into a pupa. It’s here that an insect grows before splitting open the pupa casing, emerging as an adult.

It’s a metamorphosis story, but not for a beautiful animal. It’s the life cycle of a mosquito to adulthood, and adults will eat nectar from flowers. It’s only the females that bite, sucking blood for protein to use for their eggs to repeat the whole cycle again.

In hot Central Valley summers, the whole process, from egg to adult, happens in as little as four days; in Monterey County, it’s generally closer to two weeks. Keeping them cold can slow the process down to two months, so Sanchez – the public education coordinator for the Northern Salinas Valley Mosquito Abatement District – keeps a refrigerator of large Tupperware containers of water, where he’s cooling and slowing the life cycle. The larvae make for good educational props.

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Researchers detect unreported Zika outbreak in Cuba

From the Yale Daily News
September 10, 2019

Using only data collected from travelers to Cuba, researchers at Yale, Scripps Research Institute and Florida Gulf Coast University detected an outbreak of the Zika virus in Cuba in 2017 that had not been previously reported.

In the study, incidence rates of Zika among travelers to Cuba were used to estimate the incidence rates among Cuban locals. After comparing Zika incidence rates in travelers and locals in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and other countries, the researchers were able to use Zika incidence rates of travelers to Cuba to estimate the number of local Zika cases in Cuba.

“While the methods we used have been used before, the combination of methods that we used made this study the first to have reconstructed an outbreak without any data from local sources,” said Nathan Grubaugh, epidemiology professor at the Yale School of Public Health and corresponding author of the study.

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2 CHICKENS TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS IN TEHAMA COUNTY

From Action News Now
September 9, 2019

TEHAMA COUNTY, Calif. – The Tehama County Mosquito Vector Control District says two of their test chickens have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Mike Robinson, assistant manager for vector control says they have three flocks of sentinel chickens, 10 in Corning, 10 in Red Bluff and 10 near Cottonwood.

One of the infected chickens came from the flock in Corning and the other infected chicken came from Red Bluff.

Robinson says this is not a huge indicator that the virus is spreading to humans.

There are no human cases of the West Nile Virus for 2019 in Tehama County, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Robinson says they test their chickens every two weeks by getting a blood sample from each of them.

Robinson says his team does his best to kill mosquitoes by spraying them at dusk time in populated areas of the county.

He also says to be aware of your surroundings when you’re outside.

It only takes a half-inch of standing water for mosquitoes to breed.

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Seen these bugs lately? Here’s where they’re coming from

From KESQ
September 9, 2019

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. – Have you noticed an invasion of little, flying, black bugs over the last few weeks? 

Experts say they’re called Charcoal Seed Bugs — and they’re nothing to worry about. 

We’re seeing higher populations than normal due to the high amount of rain seen in the valley this year. The bugs feed on plants and seeds — so more rain means more food for them to eat. 

They don’t bite, but tourists and business owners say they can be a nuisance, swarming storefronts in downtown Palm Springs, swimming pools and even the airport. 

For Bill Lewis, a sales associate at the shop Only in Palm Springs, clearing the seed bugs out has become a daily routine. 

“We have to sweep the store 2-3 times a day because they get stepped on and then their corpses are just everywhere and it’s disgusting,” Lewis said. 

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Summer heat brings increased West Nile Virus concerns to L.A. County

From ABC 7
September 7, 2019

The hot weather is bringing new concerns over West Nile Virus to the Southland.

Eleven additional mosquito samples tested positive for the virus, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. Officials say positive samples were collected in four new areas: Montebello, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier and Woodland Hills.

There have been 25 positive samples in the area this year.

Some neighborhoods in Anaheim and Buena Park will be sprayed next week after a recent uptick of adult mosquitoes and dead birds with West Nile in those areas.

So far this year, 57 West Nile Virus cases in humans have been reported in California, four of which were identified by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Experts say the summer heat can increase virus activity and mosquito population.

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More Mosquito Samples Infected with West Nile Virus Found

From SCVNews.com
September 6, 2019

The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District has confirmed 11 additional mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus, bringing the number of positive samples within the district’s service area to 25 this year.

Positive samples were collected in four new areas — Montebello, Santa Fe Springs, South Whittier and Woodland Hills.

So far this year, no West Nile-infected mosquito samples have been discovered in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Mosquito control is a shared responsibility and residents must take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV in their neighborhoods by taking the following steps:

* Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week.
* Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
* Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly.
* Request mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds.
* Wear EPA-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present.
* Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.

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West Nile virus found in Tehama County chickens

From the Red Bluff Daily News
September 6, 2019

RED BLUFF — Two cases of West Nile virus were found in chickens in Tehama County, according to a press release issued Friday by the Tehama County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The California Department of Health Services Vector Borne Disease Section lab in Sacramento confirmed two chickens from Red Bluff, and Corning tested positive for the virus, the release said.

West Nile virus first appeared in Tehama County around 2004, according to Daily News archives. A Tehama County resident died from the virus in 2017.

The virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Nile can infect other animals such as horses, chickens, birds and squirrels.

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Invasive mosquitoes biting the Chino Valley

From Champion Newspapers
September 6, 2019

Black mosquitoes with distinctive white stripes are biting and bugging residents in the Chino Valley.

They are considered invasive because they can potentially carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika and others, said vector officials.

The “Aedes” mosquitoes were first identified in the boundaries of the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District in 2015, and a steady increase in population has been occurring since then, said district manager Michelle Brown.

“This year, we have observed and tracked a significant increase and the phenomenon is occurring throughout southern California,” Dr. Brown said. “The aggressive, day-biting mosquito prefers to blood-feed on human hosts.”

The district includes Chino Hills, Chino, Ontario, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and surrounding county areas.

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Zika May Cause Damage in Adult Brains Too

From Technology Networks
September 6, 2019

Zika virus attracted worldwide attention in recent years due to the devastating consequences of infection for pregnant women and their fetuses, many of which were born with microcephaly and other severe neurological malformations. Although ZIKV infection has historically been associated to relatively mild symptoms, a number of serious neurological complications were described in adult patients during the 2015 outbreak in America. Despite these clinical observations, how ZIKV is toxic to the adult brain and how neurological problems are caused in infected adults have remained unknown.

Researchers led by neuroscientists Sergio T. Ferreira e Claudia Figueiredo and virologist Andrea Da Poian at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) have now come up with answers to these questions. First, they exposed small fragments of adult human brain tissue to ZIKV isolated from the blood of an infected Brazilian patient. Contrary to the previous belief that ZIKV only infects neuronal progenitor cells or neurons that are still immature in the developing brain, they found that the virus infected and replicated in adult human tissue, producing new viral particles capable of infecting more cells.

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West Nile Virus Mosquito Control Planned For Orange County

From the Orange County, CA Patch
September 5, 2019

ANAHEIM, CA — The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District is reporting an increase of West Nile Virus activity in the Cities of Anaheim and Buena Park.

“Recent laboratory test results indicate a significant number of positive WNV mosquito samples in the area between N. Dale Ave and Euclid, south of the 91 freeway to Ball Road,” the vector control district reported.

Investigating dead birds in the area, the OCMVCD determined that a near-epidemic presence of WNV positive mosquito samples increases the risk of residents getting bit by a mosquito capable of transmitting the virus.

“On September 10, 11 and 12, the OCMVCD will conduct ultra-low volume truck-mounted applications to treat for infected adult mosquitoes between the hours of 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. in a 4.5 square mile area containing approximately 8,883 properties in Anaheim and Buena Park,” Orange County Mosquito Vector Control spokesperson said.

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California Horse Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

From The Horse
September 3, 2019

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) confirmed on Aug. 28 that an unvaccinated yearling Andalusian stallion presented with clinical signs of West Nile virus (WNV), including ataxia (incoordination), drooling, fever, and lethargy, on Aug. 18. The colt was tested using IgM-capture ELISA. By the confirmation date, the attending veterinarian reported the horse still displayed signs of ataxia but had received supportive care and improved.

This diagnosis marks the first confirmed case of equine West Nile virus in Madera County for 2019 and the fifth statewide, with other affected counties including Fresno, Kern, San Bernardino, and Stanislaus.

Seventy-five percent of the WNV cases confirmed in California are typically reported in August and September, with the first case being reported in late July or early August most years, said Katie Flynn, BVMS, MRCVS, equine staff veterinarian with the CDFA. In 2019 the first case was reported on Aug. 12.

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Two more cases of West Nile virus reported in Kern County, state health officials say

From KGET
September 3, 2019

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — State health officials said two more human cases of West Nile have been reported in Kern County.

The California Department of Public Health reported the two cases last week, plus one report of a horse testing positive for the virus.

Three human cases of West Nile have been reported in Kern County in 2019.

Overall, California reported nearly 60 cases so far in 2019.

To help prevent the contracting the virus, you can apply mosquito repellent if headed outdoors, especially at night, and avoid mosquitoes and areas infested with them during the day. Wearing long sleeves and pants can help you avoid being bitten as well.

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Newly arrived mosquito breeds take a bite out of summer in San Diego

From the Los Angeles Times
September 3, 2019

Margaret Sohn’s Normal Heights home has a lovely yard — “one of the reasons why I bought this house,” she said — but she hasn’t spent much time there this summer.

“It’s terrible,” Sohn said of the tiny mosquitoes infesting her property. “It’s just miserable.”

For better or — ouch! — worse, this is the new normal. Several years ago, three nonnative mosquito species moved into San Diego County, bringing a whole new twist on this warm-weather nuisance. Compared to your garden variety mosquito, these pests are smaller, quieter and — at least potentially — a greater menace to public health.

Why could they be more dangerous? The most common of the trio, Aedes aegypti, is popularly known as the yellow fever mosquito. Although the invasive mosquito is capable of spreading tropical diseases such as yellow fever, dengue and Zika, Chris Conlan, the county’s supervising vector ecologist, stressed that the region has seen no cases of these dread ailments.

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Officials find West Nile-infected mosquitoes in northeast Solano

From the Daily Republic
September 3, 2019

FAIRFIELD — The Solano County Public Health Division announced that mosquitoes recently trapped in the northeast area of the county, near Davis, were positive for the West Nile virus.

The samples were collected last week by the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District as part of its weekly, countywide trapping program. The mosquitoes are then sent to the University of California, Davis for testing.

“This marks the official start of West Nile virus season in Solano County,” Dr. Christine Wu, deputy health officer for the county, said in a statement released Tuesday. “This is an important reminder for residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid coming in contact with mosquitoes, such as using insect repellent when outside and eliminating standing water where mosquitos can breed.”

Richard Snyder, district manager for the mosquito abatement district, said in a phone interview that the county usually gets its first indicators for the virus in May or June, so this positive test result comes a little later than normal.

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Press Release: FIRST INVASIVE MOSQUITO DETECTED IN PLACER COUNTY

From Placer MVCD
August 29, 2019

ROSEVILLE, Calif., August 29, 2019 – The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District detected an invasive (non-native) species of mosquito on Wednesday, August 28. The Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, was found in a residential south Placer County neighborhood east of Auburn Boulevard at Interstate 80. The California Department of Public Health confirmed the invasive species detection.

“Our first step is to follow our invasive species response plan and do everything we can to conduct eradication efforts to protect our residents and public health,” said Joel Buettner, General Manager. “At this point in time, we have detected one female Aedes aegypti mosquito and are trying to determine the full extent of the infestation.”

The District uses a science-based, Integrated Vector Management approach to assess mosquito activity and risk and conduct appropriate mosquito control. The District’s approach for the detected mosquito area is conducting door-to-door property inspections to determine the infestation level. The District is also coordinating with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District on efforts since the mosquito was trapped near the county border.

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Coachella man, Mecca woman treated for West Nile Virus

From KESQ
August 29, 2019

COACHELLA, Calif.- – Riverside County’s first West Nile virus infections of this year were confirmed today by the county Department of Public Health.
   
According to agency officials, a 65-year-old Mecca woman and a 71-year-old Coachella man were treated in recent weeks. No additional details were provided.
   
Riverside University Health System Disease Control specialist Barbara Cole said the patients are expected to recover.

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West Nile Virus in neighboring counties, not here yet

From the Red Bluff Daily News
August 29, 2019

RED BLUFF — West Nile Virus cases have been reported in Butte and Shasta counties within the past month, but Tehama County so far has been spared the virus.

Two people in Butte County have been exposed to the virus, according to the Butte County Health Department. Two mosquitoes carrying the virus have recently been found in Shasta County.

The virus appeared in Tehama County as far back as 2004, when it was discovered in a dead crow found near Diamond Park in Red Bluff, according to Daily News archives. A person died from the virus in Tehama County in 2017.

The virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Besides humans, the virus can infect other animals such as horses, chickens, birds and squirrels.

Nearly 6,800 cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in California from 2003 to 2018, according to westnile.ca.gov. Of those cases, only 303 were fatal.

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Mosquitoes that can transmit Zika found in NorCal counties

From KCRA 3
August 29, 2019

Invasive mosquitoes that have the potential to transmit the Zika virus have been found in Northern California.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District said it found Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Citrus Heights on Thursday. The mosquitoes were found at a home and in a street storm drain.

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The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District said it has found this species of mosquito as well. One female was located Wednesday in a residential neighborhood in south Placer County east of Auburn Boulevard at Interstate 80, Placer County officials said.

“As a mosquito and vector control, we protect the public by preventing the risk,” said Joel Buettner, general manager for the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Buettner said there have been no reports in California of a mosquito transmitting the Zika virus to a person.

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Region Sees Increase In West Nile Virus

From the Escalon Times
August 28, 2019

It was a little late in arriving, but West Nile Virus is making its presence known in the Central Valley.

Specifically, there have been a number of ground and a few aerial spraying operations in and around the Escalon area over the past few weeks.

“Overall in San Joaquin County, the last two weeks, we have seen a significant rise in West Nile Virus activity,” said San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District Public Information Officer Aaron Devencenzi explained.

Around the county, last week, there were 36 positive samples of mosquitoes, collected in traps and six of those positive samples were collected in Escalon.

“There were 63 positive samples the week prior, 14 of those were in Escalon,” Devencenzi added.

A test sample is 50 or less mosquitoes collected in a trap.

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