Merced County Times Newspaper
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Mosquito sample from Winton tests positive for West Nile Virus

Authorities are urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent when outdoors.
Authorities are urging residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent when outdoors.

The Merced County Mosquito Abatement District received confirmation from the Center of Vector-borne Diseases of UC Davis, that a mosquito sample located in Winton, has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

This is the first detection of WNV in Merced County this year. As of June 28, WNV has been detected in 10 California counties with activity confirmed in 13 dead birds, and 354 mosquito samples. No confirmed human cases have been reported to date.

“As Independence Day approaches this week, the citizens of Merced County need to continue their efforts in reducing WNV cases by protecting themselves from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent when outdoors,” says Rhiannon Jones General Manager of Merced County MosquitoAbatement District. “Another important step to reduce mosquito breeding on their properties is to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed. It will help dramatically reduce mosquitoes in our community.”

The District will continue with their surveillance programs by identifying mosquito breeding sources and mosquito borne disease activity. They will perform treatments according to their surveillance results. The District anticipates more WNV detections in the coming months and would like to remind residents that they can help by taking the following precautions:

• Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in stagnant water.

• Defend yourself against mosquitoes by using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically during Dawn and Dusk.

• Report neglected swimming pools by calling your local mosquito abatement district. Anonymous calls accepted.

To report mosquito-breeding problem areas, Merced County residents should contact Merced County

Mosquito Abatement District at (209) 722-1527 [main], (800) 622-3242 [toll], or www.mcmosquito.org. For more information on WNV, visit the California Department of Public Health website: westnile.ca.gov.

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