From County of El Dorado
April 17, 2018
(PLACERVILLE, CA) – The California Legislature has declared April 15 through April 21, 2018 as Mosquito Awareness Week to raise awareness and educate Californians about the threat mosquitoes pose to our communities. El Dorado County health officials are reminding residents to take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes as warmer weather approaches, both at home and when traveling out of the Country, and to be aware of the serious risks mosquitoes present to their health including West Nile, Saint Louis encephalitis, and potentially dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is primarily a disease of birds that can be transmitted to people and animals by mosquitoes. WNV is a mosquito-borne disease that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis and death to humans, horses, avian species and other wildlife. In 2017, there were 536 confirmed human cases of WNV in 44 counties throughout California with no cases in El Dorado County. Statewide there were 43 human deaths.
“Pregnant women should be aware about the risks of traveling to Mexico and other countries where the Zika virus can be transmitted through mosquito bite, which can result in harm to the growing fetus,” said County Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. “Babies born to mothers infected with Zika virus can be born with microcephaly or other severe fetal brain defects. The safest thing for pregnant women or women who could become pregnant is to postpone travel to countries where Zika virus is present until after the baby is born.” For more information about Zika virus and pregnant women, Williams points people to https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/index.html