West Nile Virus threat brings renewed spraying

SACRAMENTO - Aerial spraying to control adult mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in parts of Citrus Heights, Orangevale and Fair Oaks began about 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Virus activity has been elevated and many mosquito samples and dead birds have tested positive for the virus in the past few weeks, according to a news release from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

"We continue to see high virus infection rates among the birds and the mosquito samples and we continue to find mosquito samples that do test positive for the virus," Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District spokesperson Luz Maria Rodriguez said.

The spraying is scheduled for Wednesday, July 16 and Thursday, July 17 from approximately 8 p.m. to midnight, weather permitting.

Sacramento County has seen 126 mosquito samples and 82 dead birds test positive for West Nile this season. High activity in Northeastern Sacramento County led to the latest spraying from the county's northern border down the south Interstate 80 corridor, almost to the American River, and from Hazel Avenue in the east to Garfield Avenue on the west -- a total of 19,000 acres.

"We feel that we need to act quickly to interrupt the transmission cycle and protect the public," Rodriguez said.

With more activity in Yolo County and Davis and the possibility of flareups elsewhere, residents are urged to:

  • Drain standing water
  • Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk
  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Use an effective insect repellent

The district said it does not make any specific recommendations for those concerned about possible health effects from the spraying.

"But if it makes people more comfortable, of course they can stay indoors, they can close their windows, they can cover their patio furniture," Rodriquez said.

She also added people may also choose to cover gardens and spray off surfaces with a garden hose after the spraying is completed.

"We're still in the middle of the summer, there's still many more weeks of hot weather that we could have," Rodriguez said. "So, West Nile Virus activity will likely continue and more aerial spraying may be necessary."


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