County spraying mosquitos in Chula Vista to combat Zika virus

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. —┬áCounty officials conducted precautionary spraying Thursday for mosquitoes after someone who lives in a section of Chula Vista contracted the Zika virus while traveling.

The spraying was being done in an area bordered by D Street to the north, Fifth Avenue to the east, Flower Street to the south, and midway between Fifth Avenue and Broadway to the west.

This is the seventh time since the middle of August that the county has sprayed in a neighborhood where someone was sickened with Zika, a mosquito- borne illness. The idea is to prevent a mosquito from biting the infected person, and spreading the disease to the Aedes mosquito population, which could get more people sick.

So far, no infected Aedes mosquitoes have been found in the San Diego region, and all of the 61 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; in Mount Hope, Normal Heights, Grant Hill and Skyline last month; and Lemon Grove about three weeks ago.

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.

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