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County delays spraying for Zika virus due to rain

SAN DIEGO -- Wednesday morning's scheduled spraying of a chrysanthemum-derived pesticide in a Skyline neighborhood in an effort to kill mosquitoes that could possibly transmit the Zika virus has been postponed until Thursday due to wet weather.

Mosquitoes capable of carrying tropical diseases were discovered near the Skyline home of a person who contracted the Zika virus while traveling.

The county has conducted several precautionary hand-sprayings recently after Aedes mosquitoes were discovered near residences of people suffering from Zika. Officials want to prevent a situation where the mosquitoes acquire the disease from an infected person and spread it to others.

The spray area in Skyline is bordered by Noeline Place on the north side, Parkbrook Way on the east, Parkbrook Street on the south, and Parkbrook Place on the west.

Like other local victims, the Skyline resident contracted Zika while traveling.

The Zika virus came to light earlier this year when some infected pregnant women gave birth to babies with microcephaly, which causes an infant's head and brain to be smaller than normal. Around 20 percent of people who contract Zika actually get sick.

The pesticide used by the county, Pyrenone 25-5, is derived from chrysanthemums and is not the same insecticide that killed millions of honeybees last week during aerial sprayings in Florida and in South Carolina.

County officials say Pyrenone 25-5 poses low risks to people and pets and dissipates in roughly 20-30 minutes. However, area residents who want to minimize their exposure can take precautionary steps, including:

-- staying inside and bringing pets indoors if possible;

-- closing doors and windows;

-- turning off fans that bring outdoor air inside the home;

-- covering ornamental fish ponds to avoid direct exposure;

-- rinsing fruits and vegetables from gardens with water before cooking or eating;

-- wiping down or covering outdoor items such as toys; and

-- covering barbecue grills.

County officials also issued a reminder to residents to help control mosquitoes themselves.

The Aedes mosquitoes have several differences from their native counterparts -- they're smaller, can be found inside homes and like to feed during the day instead of dawn and dusk.