West Nile Virus Detected in San Gabriel Valley Mosquitoes

Mosquitos bugging you? West Nile Virus, which can affect the nervous system and result in meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis, and even death, has been detected in San Gabriel Valley

SouthPasadenan.com News | The Tiger Mosquito is a new invasive species that has recently made its home in Southern California

Mosquito activity in South Pasadena is on the rise, warn city officials, and there’s confirmation of the insects carrying West Nile Virus in the San Gabriel Valley.

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (SGVMVCD) has confirmed West Nile virus (WNV) activity in multiple cities.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, West Nile virus (WNV) is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, and a mild skin rash.’

PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | SouthPasadenan.com News | A jar of mosquito larvae & eggs

The virus can affect the nervous system and result in meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis and even death. People over 50 years of age and those with chronic health problems are at higher risk of severe illness. While not all mosquitoes carry this virus, the type of mosquito that spreads West Nile is found throughout Los Angeles County.

Meanwhile, health officials in Orange County are warning after mosquito samples tested positive for Saint Louis encephalitis last week.

Samples were collected along in Westminster and in Anaheim, according to the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Much of the summer, calls came into the Vector Control about Aedes aegypti, more commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, a breed that attacks ankles. Officials say the invasive pests have been found from Los Angeles to San Diego, including 29 Orange County cities.

The Vector Control routinely monitors populations of adult mosquitoes using traps and tests groups of adult female mosquitoes for the presence of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. SGVMVCD also tests wild birds, such as crows, which can provide insight into the spread of WNV. Year-round, vector control specialists monitor stagnant water sources where mosquitoes grow.

PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | SouthPasadenan.com News | Common household objects that can hold stagnant water, breeding ground for mosquitoes

“Hundreds of stagnant water sources ranging from plant saucers to swimming pools can be found in a community,” said SGVMVCD Operations Manager Jason Farned. “We need residents and business owners to take responsibility of mosquito issues around their properties.”

Not every mosquito bite causes illness or death, but the risk of getting sick increases during warmer months, like South Pasadena residents are experiencing in October.

“It’s easy to forget that a small mosquito can send you to the hospital and impact your life,” said SGVMVCD Public Information Officer Levy Sun. “Every individual is responsible for preventing mosquitoes from growing in their yard or patio.”

San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District urges everyone to take the following recommendation to stay healthy and bite-free:

  • Tip and toss stagnant water around the home
  • Make sure all window and doors screens are in good repair on your property
  • Wear insect repellent containing CDC-recommended Picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. These are effective against mosquitoes when used as labeled
  • Contact San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District to report neglected swimming pools at www.SGVMosquito.org or (626) 814-9466
PHOTO: Esteban Lopez | SouthPasadenan.com News | The SGVMVCD suggests use of insect repellant or wearing long sleeves/pants when outside