INDIO, CA: Mosquitoes collected from traps in Palm Desert tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). These are the first mosquito samples to test positive for either virus in Palm Desert this year. Mosquitoes in La Quinta and Thermal have also tested positive for SLEV as previously reported.
The positive samples came from traps in two locations. One near Portola Avenue and Grapevine Street and the other near Highway 74 and Mesa View Drive.
A map of all positive samples is located on our website (https://www.cvmosquito.org/public-health-threats/pages/virus-activity).
There are currently no human cases of WNV or SLEV in California.
“Just one bite from an infected mosquito can make a person sick,” said Tammy Gordon, District Public Information Officer. “We need everyone to cover up and use repellent at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are the most active.”
The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is increasing mosquito control technicians in the area to look for breeding sites and have posted virus notice signs in communities located near the trap locations. Staff will also carry out mosquito control treatments as necessary in the surrounding area to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt further transmission of the virus.
Both WNV and SLEV are potentially serious illnesses. People can get these viruses from the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes are infected when they feed on birds infected with the virus. Most infected people will have no symptoms, while others develop fever, headaches, and body aches; hospitalization is required in some cases, and in rare cases death occurs. Anyone with symptoms should contact their health care provider.
Community commitment to removing standing water sources outside the home is critical to controlling mosquitoes in the Coachella Valley. Please take the necessary steps to protect yourself and our community.
Prevent mosquito bites:
- Don’t go outside around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear bug spray. EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 (as directed on the product label).
- Cover up. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active.
- Check window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
Prevent mosquitoes around your home:
- Inspect yards for standing water sources. Drain water that collects under potted plants, bird baths, tires, and any other water holding containers.
- Check lawn drains for water and debris.
- Clean and scrub pet dishes and water features weekly.
- Swimming pools, ornamental ponds, and fountains require working pumps and regular maintenance.
If you need help inspecting or removing water sources, and for more information about WNV and SLEV visit www.cvmosquito.org.