Important Facts About West Nile Virus
Things to Know
The City of Brea will be diligent to eliminate standing water on public properties where disease carrying mosquitoes might breed. However, private citizens must also remove hazards on residential and commercial properties.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms are varied including fever and headache, meningitis, encephalitis, or even paralysis. Rash, myalgia, swollen lympth nodes, and other weaknesses may be evident. The best way to reduce your chances of contracting this potentially serious disease is to avoid mosquito bites.
The most effective way to reduce the chances of mosquito bites is to reduce places where mosquitoes can develop. Half of the mosquitoes produced in Orange County come from residential backyards. Check homes and workplaces for potential mosquito development sites. Anything that can hold water for a week can produce mosquitoes. Use your imagination, you will be surprised at the number of places in your yard with standing water, even a tablespoonful or two that remains for a week is capable of producing mosquitoes.
An easy step to reduce the chance of a mosquito bite is to check window screens and make sure they fit and are in good repair. A known vector of WNV is the Southern House Mosquito, the species that gets indoors and wakes you up at 2 a.m. Window screens are the greatest single factor in reducing mosquito borne diseases, more effective than any chemical ever used to control the mosquitoes themselves.
Protect your family by taking a few key personal protective steps, such as:
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when going out during periods of peak mosquito activity, particularly around dusk
- Wear a mosquito repellant containing DEET; follow label directions
West Nile References
Knowing who to call can make all the difference. We cannot keep West Nile virus out of California, but by working together we can reduce the risks. Contact the following resources for more information:
- Medical emergency - Call 911
- Non-emergency medical questions - Call your primary care physician
- Centers for Disease Control
- California Department of Health Services
- Orange County Vector Control District
Call if you observe dead birds, or for general questions or mosquito problems - 714-971-2421 or 949-654-2421
- WNV in horses - Contact your local veterinarian
- CDFA Animal Health Branch - 916- 654-1447