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West Nile Virus found in Turlock
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West Nile Update

·         28 captured mosquitoes tested positive in Stanislaus County this year.

·         15 captured mosquitoes tested positive in the Turlock area.

·         27 cases of human infection in California have been reported in 2010 as of Aug. 31.

·         7 cases of human infection in Stanislaus County have been reported as of Aug. 31.

It is time to bring out that hefty insect repellant again and avoid standing water as mosquitoes potentially carrying the West Nile Virus start to migrate toward houses to seek protection from the sun.

“The last three weeks have been the normal migration time for mosquitoes where they migrate from fields to the houses,” said Jerry Davis, manager of the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District. “They are moving to where the people are.”

There have been less West Nile carrying mosquitoes found in Stanislaus County compared to last year, with 48 mosquitoes tested positive last year and 28 mosquitoes tested positive so far this year — 2009 was the second highest year for cases of West Nile. But the numbers are slowly increasing as it becomes the prime time for mosquitoes.

TMAD has put out traps this week in the Turlock, Ceres, Hughson, Denair and Hickman areas and 15 mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in the Turlock area.

There have been 27 cases of human infection with the West Nile Virus in California as of Aug. 31, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, there have been seven human cases of West Nile in Stanislaus County. There were 14 cases in the county reported in 2009.

One of the human cases was a Turlock resident who was tested positive for West Nile in the first week in July, Davis said. One other person tested positive for West Nile in Ceres and five others in Modesto.

Also, there were two dead birds found in the Turlock area last week, which tested positive for West Nile, he said. One bird was found dead on the east side of Turlock and one was found dead on the west side of Turlock. Where the bird was infected with the disease is unknown because birds travel, but the birds did die from West Nile in the Turlock area.

“It is hard to say where the birds were infected because birds could get infected in one location and then die in another location,” Davis said.

Three other birds also tested positive for West Nile in Merced and Stanislaus counties in the beginning of June. A dead Northern Mockingbird was found in north Merced County on June 2 and two American Crows were found dead on the west side of Ceres.

TMAD just finished treating and spraying the areas south of Monte Vista Avenue to keep mosquitoes away, he said. Areas are sprayed when there is a high population of mosquitoes or where a mosquito tested positive for West Nile.

Currently, TMAD sets up 48 total traps in the area per week with eight of those being set in the Turlock area, Davis said.

Davis recommends staying indoors during sunrise and sunset, wearing insect repellant and keeping screens on doors and windows.

Insect repellant should contain at least 25 percent to 35 percent DEET for adults and five percent DEET for children, Davis said. The 25 percent to 35 percent DEET will last about three to four hours and the five percent DEET will last about 30 minutes.

The most active places where mosquitoes have been seen are in foreclosed or vacant houses with pools, he said.

Residents can report neglected pools and ponds, dead birds and mosquito problems to the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at 634-1234. They can also request free mosquito fish for pools and ponds.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.