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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