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West Nile Virus Positive Mosquitoes Detected in La Quinta and Palm Desert for the First Time in 2024

Continued detections in Mecca, Thermal, Oasis, and Indio

Posted on: June 13, 2024 at 11:00am

 Coachella Valley, CA: Detection of West Nile Virus positive samples continue in the Coachella Valley. Mosquitoes from routine collection sites in southeast La Quinta and Palm Desert tested positive for the first time in 2024. The mosquito samples were from traps near Madison St. and Avenue 52 (La Quinta), Monroe St. and Ave 60 (La Quinta), and Fred Waring Dr. and Warner Trail (Palm Desert). A trap in Indio at Jackson and Avenue 50 had one positive sample. Multiple traps in the communities of Mecca, Thermal, and Oasis continued to have positive samples this week.

So far in 2024, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been collected in four cities and four unincorporated areas. District staff posted disease notification signs in communities where virus activity was detected and have intensified mosquito surveillance and control measures in the surrounding area. This week’s results double the number of positive detections, bringing the number of WNV-positive mosquito samples to 91 this year. At this time last year, we had zero WNV positive samples in the Coachella Valley.

“West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States; detections like this should serve as a strong reminder to wear insect repellent anytime we are outdoors,” said Antonio Molina, Field Supervisor for the District.

We urge residents to be proactive against mosquitoes by wearing EPA-registered insect repellent containing at least thirty percent of an active ingredient like DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, not essential oils; and by ensuring there is no standing water around their homes. Homeowners should also reduce or eliminate irrigation runoff from their properties that may accumulate in neighborhood catch basins, which are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes capable of transmitting WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Prevent mosquito bites: 

  • Don’t go outside around dawn and dusk when these mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear insect repellent. EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR353 (as directed on the product label).
  • Check window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

Prevent mosquitoes around your home:

  • Check lawn drains for water and debris. Clean drains regularly.
  • Inspect yards for standing water sources. Drain water that collects under potted plants, bird baths, tires, and any other water holding containers.
  • Clean and scrub pet dishes and water features weekly.
  • Swimming pools, ponds, and fountains require working pumps and regular maintenance.

About West Nile Virus: WNV spreads when a female mosquito bites an infected bird. The mosquito then can become a carrier and transmit the virus to people. Most infected people will have no symptoms. Others will develop fever, headaches, and body aches; hospitalization is required in some cases, and in rare cases, death occurs. People with symptoms should contact their health care provider.

6.12.24 WNV La Quinta and PD.pdf6.12.24 LQ and PD WNV Spanish.pdf
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