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West Nile Virus Expands Territory

The mosquito-borne virus, which is potentially fatal, has infected at least 210 people across 22 states, including 57 in California alone.

As is typical during late summer, West Nile virus is on the rise throughout the country, with 22 states plus the District of Columbia reporting human cases of West Nile virus infections, according to the Centers for
Disease Control.

A total of 210 human cases of the virus have been reported to the national health agency. The disease has hit California the hardest, with 57 cases of the disease and four deaths. Louisiana has reported 34 cases and two deaths, Texas has 30 cases and one death, and Arizona has 14 confirmed cases and two deaths.

West Nile virus thrives in the hot and dry weather that late summer often brings. Health officials say the symptoms of West Nile virus appear three to 14 days after exposure and include fever, nausea, fatigue, body aches, neck stiffness, and disorientation.

West Nile virus is transmitted by an infected mosquito. The CDC states, "The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites." Public Health officials have these reminders to protect yourself, your crew and your customers against the virus:

  1. Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants.
  2. Avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  3. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from your customers' flowerpots, buckets and barrels and change the water in their birdbaths.
  4. Where standing water cannot be eliminated--including ditches, ponds and fountains--treat the water with an appropriate pesticide.
An environmentally-friendly pesticide available is Mosquito Dunks(R). The natural BTI in in it kills mosquito larvae and is marketed as being harmless to other living things including people, birds, pets, fish and wildlife. For more information visit

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August 24, 2019, 10:49 pm PDT

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