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West Nile Virus concerns continue
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Stanislaus County health officials announced that mosquito surveillance and control activities have began within the county. Residents should play their part by checking their property for standing water and telling their local mosquito abatement district if they are being bitten by mosquitoes.

West Nile Virus activity has already been detected within California, most notably in Sacramento and Santa Clara counties.

"The mild winter weather may have allowed the mosquitoes a head start in becoming established," said David Heft, general manager of the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District which covers Ceres, Keyes and Hughson. "So, we need the public's help in being diligent about dumping out any standing water and notifying their local district about neglected swimming pools."

The district has just finished an aerial survey targeting neglected swimming pools and other sources of backyard mosquito-breeding; district staff is busy inspecting hundreds of swimming pools.

With warmer temperatures however, conditions can change rapidly and the public is asked to report neglected pools or any other mosquito-breeding activity. In 2011, 11 people were diagnosed with the more serious neuroinvasive form of West Nile virus within Stanislaus County making it one of the more active West Nile virus regions in the State.

Residents are urged to report dead birds to the West Nile Virus state hotline at 1-877-968-2473 or online at Dead bird reports are an important tool for West Nile virus detection, even if the bird is not picked up and tested, without the reports high risk locations are harder to detect.

Residents are urged to help reduce their risk of getting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:

• Don't produce mosquitoes on your property. Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can't begin their life without water.

• Defend yourself against mosquitoes using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.

• Report neglected swimming pools by calling your local mosquito abatement district. Anonymous calls are accepted. Just one neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away.

All horse owners are also urged to consult their veterinarians about proper and timely West Nile Virus vaccinations.

To report mosquito-breeding problems, residents north of the Tuolumne River should call the Eastside Mosquito

Abatement District at 522-4098 and all others should contact the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at 634-1234. For information on West Nile virus, residents should call their local district or check online at or