Cathedral City Mosquitoes Tested, West Nile Virus Found

Officials urge residents to limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, wear bug spray, long sleeves when possible. Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes collected from a trap in Cathedral City tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first mosquito sample to test positive for the virus in Cathedral City this year. The trap was located near 30th Avenue and Date Palm Drive.

Additionally, traps in Indio, La Quinta, and Palm Desert continue to test positive for mosquito-borne viruses. Visit the Virus Activity page at www.cvmosquito.org for a map of locations.

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is increasing mosquito control technicians in affected areas looking for breeding sites and posting virus notice signs in communities located near trap locations. Staff is also carrying out mosquito control treatments as necessary to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt further transmission of WNV and St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV).

People can get WNV and SLEV from the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes are infected when they feed on birds infected with the virus. While most people will not experience any illness from these viruses, others may have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. Few people will need to be hospitalized but in rare cases the disease can be fatal. People over the age of 50 and individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of suffering severe symptoms. If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider.

The invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito now found throughout the Valley does not transmit WNV or SLEV. However they are major pests and can transmit other viruses not currently found in the Coachella Valley.

The best line of defense to reduce any type of mosquito is to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed. Remove water-holding containers from around your home and neighborhood. Drain areas where water can collect such as low lying landscape areas; pet dishes cleaned and refreshed every few days, and plant saucers thrown away.

“If you have a lawn drain, now is the time to clean it,” said Tammy Gordon, Public Information Officer for the District. “Over time they can sink, holding the water instead of draining it and creating the perfect spot for mosquitoes to breed. We really need your help in removing sources.”

For mosquito repellent tips, reducing breeding sources, the invasive Aedes, or more information about WNV and SLEV visit www.cvmosquito.org.                                             

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