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Posted on: August 27, 2019

Mosquito with West Nile Virus Found in Lake Forest

The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District has confirmed the first mosquito samples infected with West Nile virus (WNV) in the City of Lake Forest. The surveillance traps were set near Rockfield and Los Alisos.

Inspectors will be out in the area to check known sources of mosquito breeding and try to identify any unknown sources.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes, which become infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. In severe cases, people will need to be hospitalized, and in rare cases the disease can be fatal. Young children, the elderly, or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk to experience severe symptoms when infected. 

Since its introduction in 2003, WNV has infected more than 6,500 people and has caused 292 fatalities statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health. West Nile virus is endemic in California and in Orange County, and presents a risk to public health every year. 

Follow the tips below to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin before going outdoors; reapply as recommended
  • Wear repellent containing DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or space; repair broken or damaged screens
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and opt for lighter-colored clothing 

Around the home, eliminating breeding sources for mosquitoes is critical:

  • Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week
  • Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls weekly
  • Dump water from potted plant saucers

Orange County residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes to OCMVCD. For more information, please contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (714) 971- 2421 or (949) 654-2421.

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