SAN DIEGO — West Nile virus was recently detected from a batch of mosquitoes in the San Diego area, marking the first sign of the disease from the insect this year, county officials said.
The batch of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus after being collected from the north end of Los Peñasquitos Lagoon, located next to Del Mar and parts of San Diego, the County of San Diego said on its website Wednesday.
Although no human West Nile virus cases have been reported, county officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquitoes. This includes finding and dumping out standing water around homes to keep mosquitoes from breeding, wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent when outdoors.
“Dump out or remove any item inside or outside of homes that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires, and wheelbarrows,” Shauni Lyles with the County of San Diego said. “Mosquito fish, available for free by contacting the Vector Control Program, may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as stagnant swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.”
Those infected may suffer symptoms like headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands, per the county. In more serious cases, West Nile virus can cause extreme illness and even death.
To report possible mosquito activity or dead birds, contact environmental health’s Vector Control Program by calling 858-694-2888 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2015, 44 San Diego County residents tested positive for West Nile Virus, with six of those cases resulting in death, according to officials.