Greater Los Angeles Vector Control Has a New Strategy to Slow West Nile Virus

From Spectrum News 1
September 17, 2020

LOS ANGELES — As Americans continue to focus on the Coronavirus, mosquito experts want locals to be cognizant of another virus moving back into Los Angeles: West Nile.

Studies show that a mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world in terms of how many humans it kills every year. 

The Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District (GLAVCD) technicians answer calls for problem areas and educate communities on how to eliminate sources.

Ryan Rothenwander is a GLAVCD specialist who explained how an abandoned driveway full of junk can became the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“These buckets and containers that, when it rains, water will get stuck inside there, and as it warms up again the mosquitoes lay their eggs on the inside of the container and they start breeding like crazy,” Rothenwander explained.

The house is one of about 50 the Rothenwander consistently checks, in addition to answering calls from residents who can’t find the source of their mosquito problems.

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West Nile Virus: Can Climate Change Cause Mosquito Migration?

From Contagion Live
September 16, 2020

Given the range of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is environmentally determined, changes in the environment mean changes in where these diseases are most likely to spread.

West Nile virus spreads most efficiently in the United States at temperatures between 75.2–77 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a new study published in the journal eLife.

The results imply that climate change may lead to the increased spread of West Nile in some places, while causing a decrease in spread elsewhere.

“As the climate warms, it is critical to understand how temperature changes will affect the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases,” said lead author Marta Shocket, who is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Invasive mosquitoes found in Winters

From the Daily Democrat
September 16, 2020

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District announced that it has detected the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti in Yolo County.

According to Luz Marie Robles, public information officer for the district, the adult female mosquito was found in a trap near East and Main street in Winters.

This is the first discovery of invasive mosquitoes for the 2020 season within District boundaries and the first detection ever in Yolo County, Robles reported.

“As part of our ongoing surveillance program, we have been setting traps looking for invasive mosquitoes,” said Gary Goodman, district manager. “Finding this mosquito for the first time likely means it could possibly be established anywhere. We will continue to work diligently to look for and identify locations where these mosquitoes can be breeding.”

 

Two human West Nile virus cases found in Valley

From the Antelope Valley Press
September 16, 2020

LANCASTER — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has identified the first two cases of human West Nile virus (WNV) infections in the Antelope Valley for the 2020 season.

“Although the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District identifies the presence of West Nile virus every year is some form, this is the time of year when potential human transmission is at the peak”, District Entomologist Karen Mellor said.

West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in the Antelope Valley. Residents are encouraged to get rid of items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes inside and outside the home.

The act of eliminating breeding sources around the home is important now more than ever as residents spend a majority of their time at home. We are currently in peak mosquito season in Los Angeles County and residents are also urged to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products.

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Day-biting mosquito that can carry Zika, other viruses found for first time in Yolo County

From the Sacramento Bee
September 15, 2020

Authorities on Tuesday announced the first ever detection in Yolo County of an invasive mosquito that prefers to bite people during the day and has the potential to transmit serious diseases, including Zika.

The adult female Aedes aegypti mosquito, more commonly known as a yellow fever mosquito, was found in a trap near East and Main streets in Winters, according to a news release from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. Officials planned to set up additional traps in surrounding neighborhoods to help assess the spread of the infestation.

“Finding this mosquito for the first time likely means it could possibly be established anywhere,” District Manager Gary Goodman said in the news release. “We will continue to work diligently to look for and identify locations where these mosquitoes can be breeding.”

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San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District hires new manager

From The Daily Journal
September 15, 2020

The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District will have a new district manager as Brian Weber is slated to take over for Dr. Chindi Peavey, who is retiring after five years.

The district’s Board of Directors voted for the selection in August. Weber, the assistant manager for the past seven years, will take over Oct. 1.

“Brian has worked closely with all the staff to support and deliver excellent service to the public,” Board of Trustees President Kati Martin said in a statement. “The board looks forward to a bright future working with Brian.”

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More mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus in Contra Costa County

From The Press
September 11, 2020

The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District (District) has confirmed three more groups of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in Contra Costa County. Two groups of mosquitoes were trapped in Brentwood and one group was collected in Discovery Bay. The positive mosquitoes from Brentwood were collected during District surveillance following last week’s Adult Mosquito Control efforts in Brentwood. Preliminary results suggest the treatment appears to have been effective, but the risk of WNV remains.

So far this year, a total of 11 groups of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV in Contra Costa County. In past years, the District has confirmed WNV in mosquitoes well into October, so it’s important for county residents to remember, Labor Day is not the unofficial end of WNV season.

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City Warns About the Seasonal Return of Aedes Mosquitoes

From Pasadena Now
September 10, 2020

Fall is a great time to enjoy outdoor space but beware: Aedes mosquitoes are most active during this time.

The notorious ankle-biting, black-and-white striped mosquitoes don’t go away when summer fades. Instead, they continue to pester humans well into October.

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District is reminding residents to wear repellent to avoid being bitten. Use any of the following CDC-recommended active ingredients found on a repellent bottle: Oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, DEET, or IR3535.

In addition, according to the city’s in-house news magazine In Focus, take time to clear out any dense vegetation around the home. Dense vegetation in the form of ivy, hedges, and large bushes can provide resting sites for mosquitoes.

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West Nile reported in Orange County

From the Event-NewsEnterprise
September 10, 2020

Have you seen more mosquitoes than usual in Orange County this year? It is 2020, after all. Mosquito and Vector Control District officials have found the first sample of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Costa Mesa, prompting another warning Wednesday to residents to help with the battle against the pests by tipping out stagnant water around their homes and using insect repellent.

The sample of mosquitoes was collected Aug. 27 from Fairview Park in Costa Mesa and the batch tested positive for the virus on Friday, said Heather Hyland of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Two Orange County residents, including a child, have been infected with the virus so far this season, Hyland said.

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More dengue fever and less malaria – mosquito control strategies may need to shift as Africa heats up

From The Conversation
September 9, 2020

As it becomes too warm for comfort, the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit malaria may lose the battle against climate change in Africa. But a new foe is on the horizon.

When temperatures are too hot for malaria parasites and the Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit them, conditions may be just right for a different mosquito called Aedes aegypti to thrive. This new mosquito brings the threat of many viruses that it carries.

I have been working on vector-borne diseases, including malaria and multiple arthropod-borne viral diseases, for over 20 years. A new paper by Erin Mordecai and colleagues published in Lancet Planetary Health presents an intriguing look into the future where hot temperatures caused by global warming make much of Africa inhospitable for malaria but other mosquito-borne diseases become widespread.

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West Nile virus found in Tehama County sentinel chicken

From the Red Bluff Daily News
September 7, 2020

RED BLUFF — A sentinel chicken in Tehama County has been confirmed to have West Nile virus, according to a press release from the Tehama County Health Services Agency and Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The diagnosis was confirmed by the California Department of Public Health Vector-Borne Disease Section lab in Sacramento, the release said. Sentinel chickens have their blood checked to detect the presence of West Nile virus and do not develop symptoms.

It is important for county residents to take measures to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Late-spring rains have caused standing water, which is a breeding source for mosquitoes, the release said. Hot temperatures are a contributing factor to the increasing numbers of mosquitoes breeding, which then increases the risk of virus transmission to humans.

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UC Berkeley researchers receive grant to study mosquito-borne viruses

From the Daily Californian
September 7, 2020

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID, granted nearly $8 million to UC Berkeley School of Public Health researchers Eva Harris and Josefina Coloma to study mosquito-borne viruses and pandemic preparedness in Asia and the Americas.

With the funds, which will be distributed over the next five years, Harris and Coloma will establish the American and Asian Centers for Arbovirus Research and Enhanced Surveillance, or A2CARES, on campus. Arboviruses are a class of viruses that are spread by mosquitoes and other arthropods — Zika, dengue and chikungunya are all caused by mosquito-borne arboviruses and will be studied further by Harris and Coloma, according to Harris.

A2CARES will be part of the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases, or CREID, consortium that includes several institutions in the United States and one in France, according to the CREID website. CREID will have research centers around the world, including Ecuador, Sri Lanka and Congo.

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Study identifies how infection by Zika virus during pregnancy can affect the fetal brain

From EurekAlert
September 3, 2020

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause severe abnormalities in the fetus, including malformations such as microcephaly. In a small proportion of cases, the disease may lead to miscarriage and perinatal death. A network of more than 30 Brazilian researchers set out to find the causes of these problems with the support of FAPESP and obtained important results after half a decade of hard work. A paper describing their findings has been published in the journal Science Signaling.

“We show for the first time what happens in the fetal brain affected by congenital Zika syndrome [CZS],” Helder Nakaya, who is the last author of the paper, told Agência FAPESP. Nakaya is a bioinformatics specialist, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF-USP), and a senior scientist at the Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases (CRID), which is one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) funded by FAPESP.

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West Nile Virus Found Near Lake Forest

From the Lake Forest Patch
September 3, 2020

LAKE FOREST, CA — Have you seen more mosquitoes than usual in Orange County this year? It is 2020, after all. Mosquito and Vector Control District officials have found the first sample of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Costa Mesa, prompting another warning Wednesday to residents to help with the battle against the pests by tipping out stagnant water around their homes and using insect repellent.

The sample of mosquitoes was collected Aug. 27 from Fairview Park in Costa Mesa and the batch tested positive for the virus on Friday, said Heather Hyland of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Two Orange County residents, including a child, have been infected with the virus so far this season, Hyland said. The infections occurred in Anaheim and Huntington Beach.

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Central San Joaquin Valley man dies from Saint Louis Encephalitis virus, officials say

From The Fresno Bee
September 3, 2020

A Madera County man in his 90s died in August from the Saint Louis Encephalitis virus, the county health department reported Thursday.

The county said it is the first confirmed case of SLEV in California this year and the first in Madera County since 1976.

The health department, through preliminary testing, thought it was the West Nile virus before the test confirmed it was SLEV.

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West Nile Virus: Mosquitoes Found Near Los Alamitos

From the Los Alamitos Patch
September 2, 2020

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Have you seen more mosquitoes than usual in Orange County this year? It is 2020, after all. Mosquito and Vector Control District officials have found the first sample of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Costa Mesa, prompting another warning Wednesday to residents to help with the battle against the pests by tipping out stagnant water around their homes and using insect repellent.

The sample of mosquitoes was collected Aug. 27 from Fairview Park in Costa Mesa and the batch tested positive for the virus on Friday, said Heather Hyland of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Two Orange County residents, including a child, have been infected with the virus so far this season, Hyland said.

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More mosquitoes test positive for WNV

From the Antelope Valley Press
September 1, 2020

PALMDALE —  Mosquitoes collected from various mosquito traps in Palmdale have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The traps were located near 6th Street East and Avenue R, 20th Street East and Avenue S, and 25th St. East and Avenue R-6.

“So far we have sent in 92 mosquito samples this year, nine of which have been positive for West Nile virus”, District Entomologist Karen Mellor said. “At this time last year, we had five West Nile virus positive samples that were all in Lancaster.”

Mosquito control is a shared responsibility between the District and the residents. Keeping the mosquito population low will reduce the chances of disease transmission and the entire community will benefit from less mosquitoes.

West Nile virus is an endemic in the Antelope Valley. This means that it is regularly found in the Antelope Valley every mosquito season. 

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LA residents encouraged to avoid mosquito-borne threat of West Nile virus

From the Daily Bruin
August 31, 2020

Los Angeles County residents should take precautions against a disease spread by mosquitoes, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.

West Nile virus, a virus transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite from an infected mosquito, can invade the central nervous system and be deadly. Symptoms of infection vary from mild fever and rashes to paralysis and coma. People and animals are susceptible to the virus.

There has been one WNV-related death and five cases of WNV this year in LA County, according to the LACDPH. 35 people have contracted WNV in California, according to the California Department of Public Health. Last year, there were 29 cases and 3 deaths in LA County.

Less than 1% of people infected with WNV have severe symptoms, while about 10% of people with severe symptoms die, said Paul Allyn, an infectious disease specialist at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

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Chino mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

From Champion Newspapers
August 29, 2020

The West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District detected the presence of West Nile Virus in a collection of five mosquitoes trapped near Mountain Avenue and Satterfield Way in Chino on Aug. 18.

It is the first detection of West Nile Virus in the boundaries of the District this year, said community outreach coordinator Brian Reisinger

The District includes Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, and Upland.

The virus was found in the native Southern House mosquito, not the aggressively biting Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that are bothering residents.

West Nile Virus can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito, he said.

Up to 20 percent of people who become infected will have symptoms that could include body aches, fever, headaches, nausea, and vomiting, according to the California West Nile Virus website.

Eighty percent of infected people develop no symptoms.

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Higher risk for West Nile virus in Brentwood after more dead birds, mosquitoes test positive

From KRON4
August 29, 2020

BRENTWOOD, Calif. (BCN) – More birds and trapped mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus were found recently in Contra Costa County and vector control officials say there’s currently an elevated risk for the virus in the city of Brentwood.

Five of six dead birds testing positive were picked up in Brentwood, the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District said Friday. The remaining bird was found in Antioch.

In addition, six groups of mosquitoes testing positive were found in Palm Tract near Knightsen, Discovery Bay, and Brentwood.

Although the risk is higher for Brentwood, the virus isn’t restricted to that area, according to Steve Schutz, the district’s scientific program manager.

“Residents countywide should be taking precautions against mosquito bites,” said Schutz. “We appreciate members of the public reporting dead birds – this helps our agency identify where the virus hot spots may exist.”

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First human West Nile virus cases in Merced County traced to the City of Merced

From the Merced Sun-Star
August 28, 2020

Merced County’s first confirmed human West Nile virus infections of the year were traced to the City of Merced, according to Merced County Mosquito Abatement District news release.

The two infected individuals, both women aged 60-80, likely contracted the disease in mid-August, according to the Merced County Department of Public Health.

As of Aug. 21, human West Nile virus cases tally 27 in California. The disease is most typically transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

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‘Ankle-biter’ mosquito now a permanent resident of Kern

From Bakersfield.com
August 28, 2020

One benefit Bakersfield has long enjoyed — a benefit millions of Americans do not have — has been the ability to take a walk on a spring or summer evening, or sip a drink on an unprotected porch, without being “eaten up” by swarms of mosquitoes.

Residents who have moved here from places like New Hampshire or Florida, Louisiana or Georgia, are thrilled to learn they have more freedom to be outdoors in arid Kern County.

But recent changes to the mosquito population in the southern San Joaquin Valley could force residents to get serious about spraying on mosquito repellant along with their perfume or aftershave.

“The Aedes aegypti mosquito is also known as the yellow fever mosquito,” Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District spokesman Terry Knight said at a news conference held Thursday at the district headquarters.

“It’s nickname is the ankle-biter.”

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Study uncovers key elements of Zika virus impacts on immune systems

From the Valley News
August 26, 2020

The mosquito-borne Zika virus can defeat a person’s immune system by drilling into the cellular defenses needed to combat diseases, according to research by a pair scientest from University of California Riverside.

Jikui Song, biochemistry professor of University of California Riverside, and virologist Rong Hai were joined by researchers from University of California Los Angeles in producing a study on Zika virus’s microlevel interactions, published in the most recent edition of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Key elements of the research spotlighted how Zika pathogens damage a person’s immune response by penetrating defender cells known as interferons.

“Suppressing host immunity is a common strategy employed by viruses to achieve successful infection,” Song said.

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Two invasive mosquito species found in Shasta County

From KRCR 7 News
August 26, 2020

Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMVCD) identified two species of invasive mosquitoes on Wednesday.

While responding to an initial report of the invasive Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever Mosquito), SMVCD staff found and identified the Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito).

SMVCD says the Asian Tiger Mosquito was found near a central Shasta County neighborhood west of Highway 273 and Market Street, and north of Lake Boulevard.

The California Department of Health confirmed the invasive species detection.

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Asian tiger mosquito, another new species that can carry Zika virus, yellow fever, discovered in Redding

From the Record Searchlight
August 26, 2020

A second invasive mosquito species has for the first time been discovered in Shasta County, the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Wednesday.

Larvae from the Asian tiger mosquito were found in standing water at a Redding neighborhood near Highway 273/Market Street and north of Lake Boulevard.  

The California Department of Public Health confirmed the detection of the invasive species in the county.

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Aedes aegypti mosquito frequently biting Kern County residents

From KGET
August 26, 2020

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – La Thao, with Kern Mosquito and Vector Control, joined 17 News at Sunrise to explain why the aedes aegypti mosquito is biting residents across Kern County, causing frequent bites on ankles.

Thao suggests people dump standing water sources and scrub the containers to mitigate the mosquito presence in their yards. People are also advised to use repellent with DEET in it and reapply it often as the mosquito likes bite several times.

Although the mosquito will most likely slow down in cooler weather, it is expected to come back in the spring.

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Breakthrough in eliminating dengue, other mosquito-borne diseases

From the Berkeley News
August 26, 2020

A 27-month trial in Indonesia of a unique method of mosquito control shows that the strategy can reduce the incidence of dengue — a mosquito-borne viral disease of the tropics that threatens nearly half the world’s population — by 77%.

The method, which employs Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected by bacteria called Wolbachia, effectively prevents dengue-infected mosquitoes from passing on the virus when they bite people. The study, the preliminary results of which were released today (Wednesday, Aug. 26), looked only at dengue, but the mosquito control strategy may likely work for other viruses carried by A. aegypti mosquitoes, including Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

“It is a huge breakthrough,” said Nicholas Jewell, a Professor of the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley, who designed the study and led the statistical analysis. “We’ve now shown that it works in one city. If this can be replicated and used widely, it could eradicate dengue from several parts of the world for many years.”

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High temperatures and summer rain increase West Nile virus

From the Lake County News
August 24, 2020

LAKEPORT, Calif. – The recent high temperatures and unusual summer rain have created an opportunity for mosquitoes and West Nile virus to thrive.

This year, five samples of mosquitoes collected in Lake County tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Lake County Vector Control District.

The WNV-positive mosquito samples were collected near Clearlake Oaks, Lower Lake, Middletown, and Upper Lake (2); all were Culex tarsalis (western encephalitis mosquito), Vector Control said.

“Both mosquito and West Nile virus activity increase when the overnight temperatures are 60°F or warmer,” said Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District. “With so many other things happening, like the fires and COVID-19, many people don’t think about mosquito-borne illnesses. Mosquitoes cannot transmit coronavirus, but they transmit West Nile virus. The best way to protect yourself is avoid mosquito bites. If you plan to be outside when mosquitoes are active, apply an effective repellent that contains Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or DEET.”

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West Nile Virus confirmed in dead bird and mosquitoes in Contra Costa County

From The Press
August 24, 2020

The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District (District) reports a dead bird and a group of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in Contra Costa County. The dead bird was picked up in Martinez and the mosquitoes were collected from traps in an agricultural area east of Knightsen. This is the first bird and second group of mosquitoes to test positive for WNV so far this year in Contra Costa County.

Certain types of birds may carry WNV, When a mosquito bites an infected bird, the mosquito can become infected and transmit WNV to another bird or a person through a mosquito bite.

The discovery of one dead bird and infected mosquitoes in the middle of a heatwave, is an important reminder that hot weather can increase the risk of WNV transmission, according to the District’s Scientific Program Manager Steve Schutz, Ph.D.

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Rare St. Louis Encephalitis virus found in mosquitoes in San Joaquin County

From Recordnet.com
August 23, 2020

St. Louis Encephalitis has been discovered in San Joaquin County, and the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District asks the public to take precautions and protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The SLE virus was found in a group of collected mosquitoes in ZIP code 95240, which includes Lodi, Victor and Lockeford.

“This is the first find of St. Louis Encephalitis in San Joaquin County since a human case identified in 1973,” said Aaron Devencenzi, a spokesman for the district.

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Day-biting mosquitoes that can carry yellow fever, Zika virus spread to Yuba City

From The Sacramento Bee
August 19, 2020

Aggressive day-biting mosquitoes that can transmit yellow fever, Zika, dengue and other serious illnesses have been in traps set in Yuba City, public health officials announced Wednesday.

”Our goal is to control and eliminate this mosquito population.” said Stephen Abshier, the manager of the Sutter-Yuba Mosquito & Vector Control District. “We are doing everything we can to help ensure this mosquito does not become established in our communities.”

Abshier reported that the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were collected Friday morning and identified on Tuesday. His team is trying to evaluate the extent of the infestation and will work to eliminate it.

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The Worst Animal in the World

From The Atlantic
August 19, 2020

or about a week this past September, I adopted a wellness routine that—at the time—felt like neurotic overkill. I didn’t bother with masks or hand sanitizer; back then, the virus we now know as SARS-CoV-2 was still presumably nestled in the warm body of an unknown animal. Instead, each morning, I spritzed my arms and legs with picaridin, a chemical repellent meant to ward off parasitic bugs. Then I covered myself with one of several increasingly crusty sets of khaki pants and long-sleeved shirts that I had infused with the insecticide permethrin. Only then, force field up, would I venture outside.

I had come to Dakar, Senegal, to get close—but not too close—to Aedes aegypti, a globally invasive mosquito that is arguably the worst animal in the world. The species carries yellow fever and dengue, both of which can cause more severe disease in young adults than SARS-CoV-2; Zika virus, which can lead to birth defects; and chikungunya virus, which can leave victims with debilitating joint pain.

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Mosquitoes in Lancaster test positive for West Nile virus

From the Antelope Valley Press
August 19, 2020

LANCASTER — Mosquitoes collected from a mosquito trap in Lancaster tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The trap was located near Division and Lancaster Boulevard. This is the third positive West Nile virus detection within District boundaries for the 2020 season.

“Once again, we want to reach out to the community and remind them of the importance of practicing personal mosquito control measures,” District Manager Cei Kratz said. “Mosquito control is a shared responsibility between the District and the residents. This detection of additional West Nile virus positive mosquito samples reinforces the importance of keeping the mosquito population low. The entire community will benefit from less mosquitoes and less chances of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus.”

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Hot and Humid … Now Mosquitoes?

From NBC 7 San Diego
August 19, 2020

It seems like the plot of a ripped-from-the-headlines episode of “TheTwilight Zone”:

A pandemic hits, then people shut themselves away inside homes and businesses. In Act 2, a heat wave rolls in, and, with it, rolling blackouts. In the final act, too hot to stay indoors, people wander outside, where, in the dark, lurks another invisible pest. And the Easter egg lying in wait as the credits roll? The bugs attack in daylight too!

Ok, maybe we’re being a little dramatic, but some are saying that there are MOSQUITOES in San Diego this year, and they’re really biting.

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‘Calm all the buzz,’ RI DEM says of alleged Asian giant hornet sightings

From 10 WJAR
August 19th, 2020

If you’re in Rhode Island and think you spotted a giant Asian hornet, which is also known as the “murder hornet,” environmental experts are asking you not to get too worried.

“Calm all the buzz,” the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management noted in a tweet Wednesday.

“There’s little risk of them being present in RI in 2020,” according to DEM. “Chances are you’ve spotted a local look-a-like that are not a threat to wildlife or our ecosystem.”

DEM noted that there are several native wasps in the state.

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Mosquitoes Carrying St. Louis Encephalitis Virus Found In Lodi

From CBS Sacramento
August 18, 2020

LODI (CBS13) — Mosquitoes carrying St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus have been discovered in Lodi.

It’s the first instance of the virus in San Joaquin County since a human case nearly 50 years ago.

Symptoms of the SLE virus include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. Officials say the SLE virus is in the same family as the West Nile Virus, which is very active in the San Joaquin County mosquito population.

The San Joaquin County Vector Control District is now urging residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes. They say the higher temperatures cause the mosquito life cycle to speed up and increase the replication of the virus within their bodies.

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Mosquitoes that can transmit yellow fever, Zika have spread to Turlock and Ceres

From the Modesto Bee
August 18, 2020

Mosquitoes that can carry yellow fever, Zika and a few other diseases have turned up in Turlock and Ceres, officials said Tuesday.

The finds came about a year after this species, Aedes aegypti, made its first known appearance in Stanislaus County. That was in Modesto and Newman. No diseases have been reported in California.

The latest detections were by the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District. It takes in the part of the county south of the Tuolumne River, along with the West Side.

Heatwave Causing Spike In West Nile Virus Mosquitoes In Sacramento Valley

From the Sacramento Patch
August 17, 2020

DAVIS (CBS13) — Vector control is warning that the sustained hot weather is causing mosquito populations to multiply – with West Nile virus activity now seeing a spike.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District announced on Monday that mosquito samples tested from around the area are starting to show increased West Nile activity.

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Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile Virus

From the San Francisco News
August 17, 2020

CONTRA COSTA—On Friday, August 14, the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District announced that they found a group of mosquitoes that tested positive for the West Nile Virus near Byron in Contra Costa County.

According to Steve Schutz, the District’s Scientific Programs Manager said in a statement:

“August and September are the peak months for human cases of West Nile virus. Dead birds, especially crows and jays, are often a good early indication that West Nile virus is present in a particular area. Birds can be carriers of West Nile virus.”

The statement noted that two people died after contracting West Nile, and 66 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Contra Costa County since 2005. West Nile Virus causes fever, which is mostly transmitted by Culex, one of the mosquito species.

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New mosquito that can carry Zika and yellow fever found in Shasta County

From the Record Searchlight
August 17, 2020

The first known mosquitoes with the potential to carry such diseases as Zika and yellow fever has been discovered in Shasta County.

The first mosquito was found Friday in a trap north of Lake Boulevard and west of North Market Street, also known as Highway 273, according to the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The mosquitoes, known as Aedes aegypti, have been found in other areas of California, but the recent finding in Redding marks a first for Shasta County, according to mosquito district manager Peter Bonkrude.

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Mosquitoes Found Near Byron Test Positive for West Nile Virus

From NBC Bay Area
August 15, 2020

Mosquitoes trapped earlier this week near Byron tested positive for West Nile virus, Contra Costa County vector control officials said Friday.

The infected mosquitoes are the first sign of the virus so far this year in the county, where August and September are usually the peak months of West Nile cases in humans, according to the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Residents are urged to prevent the insects from breeding by dumping and draining any standing water on their property and to report neighborhood mosquito issues including neglected swimming pools.

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Yellow fever mosquito found at Visalia Cemetery

From the Sun Gazette
August 12, 2020

VISALIA – Leaving flowers at the grave site of a lost loved one is an important part of the grieving process. Unfortunately, the standing water left in flower containers can lead to the spread of a serious diseases.

The Visalia Public Cemetery District announced last week that more than two-thirds of the flower containers at grave sites that had standing water contained mosquito larvae for Aedes aegypti, an invasive mosquito that is known to carry and transmit several human diseases including dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika.

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UCR Researchers Uncover How Zika Virus Impacts Immune System

From The Patch
August 12, 2020

RIVERSIDE, CA — The mosquito-borne Zika virus can defeat a person’s immune system by drilling into the cellular defenses needed to combat diseases, according to research by a pair of UC Riverside scientists.

UCR biochemistry professor Jikui Song and virologist Rong Hai were joined by researchers from UCLA in producing a study on Zika’s micro-level interactions, published in the most recent edition of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Key elements of the research spotlighted how Zika pathogens damage a person’s immune response by penetrating defender cells known as interferons.

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First Human, Travel-Related West Nile Case Virus of 2020 Reported in San Diego County

From NBC Los Angeles
August 12, 2020

A man from Alpine has been confirmed to be the first person in San Diego County in 2020 to test positive for the West Nile virus, the County Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

The California Department of Public Health confirmed the case on Aug. 11. after the man, 61, was hospitalized and tested for the virus. He has since recovered.

Health officials said the man had traveled to Yuma, Arizona, where it is believed he had contracted the virus.

There have been only three human cases of West Nile virus in San Diego County in 2019 and two in 2018, County officials said.

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Mosquitoes in Santa Clara County test positive for West Nile virus

From KRON 4
August 11, 2020

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Officials said West Nile virus has been confirmed in adult mosquitoes collected in a limited area of Los Altos Hills.

According to the County of Santa Clara Vector Control District, the mosquitoes were collected from portions of the 94022 zip code.

Mosquito control treatment has been scheduled in the area for Thursday, Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. and will last about three hours.

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Alameda County’s first West Nile virus case of 2020 confirmed in Dublin

From pleasantonweekly.com
August 11, 2020

A dead bird found in Dublin last week tested positive for West Nile virus, marking the “first indication of active virus transmission” in the county this year, the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District announced.

According to the district, the body of an American crow was recovered on Aug. 5 from the 6800 block of Ash Court in the city of Dublin, less than a half mile from Valley High School. Results from tests conducted at the district laboratory on Aug. 7 were positive for the virus.

More than 90 cases of West Nile — which is spread to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito and has no cure — have been reported in California this year. The majority of them are dead birds (81) and 10 humans, plus 675 mosquito samples.

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Child Tests Positive for West Nile Virus Infection in Orange County

From NBC Los Angeles
August 10, 2020

A child who tested positive for West Nile Virus is the first person to be infected this year in Orange County, officials reported Monday.

The child, whose age and identity are protected, was diagnosed sometime last week and was hospitalized but is expected to recover, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. This was the first time this year a person in the county has been infected.

The state has reported 10 people infected statewide so far in 2020.

County officials said a total of seven people contracted West Nile in the area last year.

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Researchers develop system to monitor and forecast the environmental suitability of transmission of Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya

From Outbreak News Today
August 6, 2020

Researchers led by Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Pan-American Health Organization have developed a system to monitor and forecast the environmental suitability of transmission of Zika, dengue fever, chikungunya and other diseases carried by species of Aedes mosquitos in the U.S. and neighboring regions.

Their results show that the forecasting skill of the new system is very good, with ‘hotspots’ of higher skill in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

The team published its findings in Scientific Reports.

The new system, called AeDES (https://aedes.iri.columbia.edu), is expected to help public-health authorities identify at-risk areas at least a month ahead of time, improving response and planning operations.

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California Horse Confirmed With WNV

From The Horse
August 6, 2020

On Aug. 3, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officials confirmed the state’s second case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a horse in 2020. The affected horse, a 2-year-old Quarter Horse colt from Stanislaus County, began showing neurologic signs on July 28. Those signs included falling, fore- and hind-limb ataxia (incoordination), and knuckling. The horse, which was unvaccinated, is reported as recovering.

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West Nile Virus found in Davis

From the Davis Enterprise
August 6, 2020

West Nile Virus is in Davis.

Dead birds found July 30 and Aug. 2 have tested positive for the virus, as have multiple mosquitos found throughout Yolo County, the local vector control district announced on Wednesday.

“We are closely monitoring and keeping an eye on the city of Davis since (West Nile) has been detected within city boundaries and in the surrounding areas,” said Gary Goodman, manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

“While temperatures have cooled off significantly this week, we are still in the middle of summer and conditions are right for mosquitoes to continue breeding and posing a threat for disease transmission,” said Goodman.

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