Stanislaus County officials are reporting that a 90-year-old man has died from West Nile virus (WNV). As of Sept. 23, there have been five WNV related fatalities reported throughout California.
"We all grieve the death of this gentleman," said Dr. John Walker, Public Health Officer. "The WNV season extends into October in Stanislaus County so it is important for residents to continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites."
Residents can protect themselves and their families by following these simple steps:
• Eliminate sources of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
• Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk, and especially for the first two hours after sunset.
• When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and other protective clothing.
• Exclude mosquitoes from your home with tight fitting screens on doors and windows.
• Apply insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET when outdoors, according to label instructions.
• In addition to DEET-based products, the Centers for Disease Control also recommend insect repellants containing oil of lemon eucalyptus and Picaridin.
Both the East Side and Turlock Mosquito Abatement Districts are treating mosquito habitats using ground and aerial spray equipment and are doing aerial surveillance photography for neglected swimming pools which can lead to Wes Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes. The Districts provide mosquito fish, free of charge, to put in ornamental ponds and other backyard locations.
For more information on WNV call 558-8425 or visit www.stanemergency.com.
To report mosquito-breeding problem areas, residents should contact one of the two mosquito abatement districts that serve the county. For areas north of the Tuolumne River, residents should call the Eastside Mosquito Abatement District at 522-4098 (www.eastsidemosquito.com) all others should contact the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at 634-1234 (turlockmosquito.org). Reporting and testing of dead birds also helps in locating areas needing treatment for West Nile Virus. To report a dead bird, call the California State hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
Horse owners are also urged to consult their veterinarians about proper and timely West Nile Virus vaccinations.
All blood donors are screened for WNV to ensure that the blood supply remains safe for those needing transfusions. This ensures that WNV is not transmitted via blood transfusions.
For more information on WNV call the hotline at (209) 558-8425 or visit www.stanemergency.com.