County to spray Lemon Grove neighborhood after traveler contracts Zika

LEMON GROVE, Calif. -- County vector control workers will spray pesticide in a Lemon Grove neighborhood Monday morning in an effort to kill mosquitoes discovered near the home of someone who contracted the Zika virus while traveling.

The affected area is bordered by San Miguel Avenue on the north, Corona Street on the west, midway between Tweed Street and Brunei Court on the south and midway between Buena Vista and New Jersey avenues to the east. It is the sixth area since mid-August to be treated to prevent Zika from spreading to Aedes mosquitoes, which can transfer tropical diseases to humans.

So far, no infected Aedes mosquitoes have been found in the San Diego region, and all local cases of Zika have resulted from travel to areas where the disease is prevalent, according to county health officials.

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

Pesticide was also sprayed in San Diego neighborhoods of South Park in August, and in Mount Hope, Normal Heights, Grant Hill and Skyline last month.

The pesticide used by the county, Pyrenone 25-5, is derived from chrysanthemums. 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.