The West Nile virus infection has not made any people sick in Fresno County this year. However, the potential for infections is rising.
West Nile virus arrived in Fresno County in 2004, and the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District has stayed busy ever since.
“Every year it’s here, so although we do surveillance, we’re always gathering West Nile virus mosquitoes in this area,” stated Katherine Ramirez with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.
Workers go to ponding basins and neglected swimming pools and use fish or larvicide to control the mosquito population.
However, some infected insects always slip through the defensive shield.
This year, they’ve collected 46 Culex mosquitoes with critical viruses.
43 had West Nile virus; three had St. Louis encephalitis.
“We do an ultra-low quantity spray in an area when we do discover infected mosquitoes. We additionally proceed to do surveillance to make sure that the mosquito population has been reduced,” mentioned Ramirez.
It is kept individuals in Fresno County safe so far this year.
However, their collection of infected Culex mosquitoes has now spread across Fresno, Clovis, and Sanger putting individuals at risk of getting an infection inflicting issues ranging from flu-like symptoms to paralysis and tremors.
And the Aedes aegypti mosquito can be even worse.
They’ll carry chikungunya, yellow fever, dengue fever, and Zika and they’re instead a lot hungrier than Culex mosquitoes, which could eat blood once every two weeks.
“It is an extreme nuisance mosquito. It would bite repeatedly. So a lot of times someone thinks they have a huge mosquito problem due to the perception of the number of bites,” mentioned Ramirez.
The mosquito abatement district teamed up with an arm of Google for an experiment to scale back Aedes aegypti, pouring sterile male mosquitoes into neighborhoods, and it is showing positive results.
They are saying they’ve detected 95% fewer females in those areas, and the females are the only biting mosquitoes.
The biters are still out there, though, so insect repellent is a necessity, particularly at dusk and dawn.