West Nile virus detected in Merced County, according to Mosquito Abatement District

The first case of West Nile virus in Merced County in 2019 has been confirmed, according to the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District.

According to a news release, the Center of Vector-borne Diseases of UC Davis confirmed a mosquito sample located in Winton tested positive for West Nile virus.

As of June 28, the virus has been detected in 10 California counties with activity confirmed in 13 dead birds and 354 mosquito samples, according to the news release.

No confirmed human cases have been reported.

According to the news release, wearing insect repellent is one way Merced County citizens can take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites while outdoors.

Eliminating standing water around properties where mosquitoes breed is another way to reduce mosquitoes in the community.

The Merced County Mosquito Abatement District said it will continue surveillance programs by identifying mosquito breeding sources and mosquito-borne disease activity. The district will also perform treatments according to surveillance results.

The district said residents can dump or drain standing water, as mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in the stagnant water. Residents can also defend themselves against mosquitoes by using repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

The district said other precautions include reporting neglected swimming pools and to avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most present, typically during dawn or dusk.

Merced County residents can report mosquito breeding problem areas by contacting the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District at 209-722-1527 or 800-622-3242. Residents can also visit the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District website.