Mosquitoes in Santa Barbara Test Positive for West Nile Virus

From the Daily Nexus
November 8, 2020

These mosquitoes, commonly known as southern house mosquitoes, were discovered in traps for a different invasive species of mosquitoes Aedes aegypti discovered in early October. These traps were set up in a house in Santa Barbara near the intersection of North La Cumbre Road and Foothill Road. 

Brian J. Cabrera, general manager of the Mosquito and Vector Management District of Santa Barbara County, said that the mosquitoes likely picked up West Nile virus from infected birds, which they tend to feed on. According to Cabrera, carrier mosquitoes have the potential to pass the virus on to humans — but it isn’t a reason for panic. 

“It’s not an imminent threat, but we should remain vigilant,” Cabrera said. “The disease caused, or the illnesses caused by West Nile virus, only affects a small percentage of the people who actually acquire the virus from a mosquito bite.”

Cabrera said that 80% of people infected don’t feel symptoms at all. Those that do get sick, he said, will experience fever, headaches, rashes and nausea. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1% of West Nile virus cases are fatal, with elderly and otherwise immunocompromised individuals particularly at risk. 

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