Mosquitoes Found In San Dimas Carrying West Nile Virus

SAN DIMAS (CBSLA.com) — The recent rain has bought a lot more standing water. Translation: Get ready for mosquitoes.

Moreover, officials say mosquitoes in the San Gabriel Valley have started to test positive for West Nile virus.

CBS2’s Tina Patel spoke to vector-control experts and people who will be on the lookout for bugs.

Samir Shahrestan has already had a bad reaction to a mosquito bite. He had to be treated by a doctor.

So when Shahrestan saw signs about West Nile virus being found in mosquitoes at Bonelli Park, he paid attention.

“Of course, I have to take some precaution but nothing over the limit,” he told Patel.

The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito And Vector Control District says mosquitoes found in the park started testing positive for West Nile last week. But they also know it’s just a matter of time before the virus spreads.

“Mosquitoes need stagnant water to lay their eggs and develop, and because of the rain, there’s been no shortage of that. And add warm weather to the equation, and you have a perfect environment for mosquitoes to grow,” said Jason Farned with Vector Control.

Last year, 442 people in California became infected with the virus, 19 of those people died.

Older people and those with compromised immune systems are mostly at risk. All residents can lessen their risk by wearing insect repellent, staying indoors during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and getting rid of and avoiding standing water around your home.

“Mosquito control and mosquito population reduction is a shared responsibility,” Farned says. “If everyone can help us by making sure mosquitoes aren’t growing in their yards, that would really help bring the overall population down.”

Park visitors said they were concerned that West Nile is back but not overly concerned they’re going to let the bugs ruin their park experience.

“I think the park has everything under control, I think they are aware of absolutely everything going on. It’s a very well-organized and taken care of park,” said one woman.

“If you’re going to change your lifestyle because of everything that happens in life, you’re just going to stay in your house, in your room all day. So just go, enjoy life, deal with it when it happens,” said Shahrestan.

Officials said 80 percent of people who get bitten by infected bugs never show any symptoms.  The ones who do get sick usually show mild, flu-like symptoms.

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