Riverside County health officials will be spraying portions of Beaumont for mosquitoes Wednesday (9/5) after some of the insects tested positive for West Nile Virus.
This action follows the spraying Friday near Mayflower Park in Blythe, where some mosquitoes were found to be infected by the virus. The spraying in Blythe was conducted about 5 a.m.
Officials emphasized that the chance of contracting the illness is small but urge residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
No human cases have been reported in either the Beaumont or Blythe areas.
The Beaumont spraying will take place between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the area near Palmer Avenue and Morris Street, along with the area near Minnesota and First streets. The mosquito samples, which contain up to 50 of the insects, were recently collected near Palmer and Morris as part of routine mosquito surveillance and the positive results were confirmed Friday.
The Blythe mosquito samples were recently collected in response to complaints from residents and the positive results were confirmed Thursday.
Health officials recently announced the first confirmed human case in Riverside County. The patient is recovering at home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the 1,590 cases reported nationwide this year through August represents the largest number of reports in the first eight months of any year since the virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.
The illness is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes contract the virus when they feed on infected birds.
Precautions include wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts, applying insect repellent, and eliminating all sources of standing water, where mosquitoes can breed.
Health officials also ask that anyone who notices a significant mosquito problem at home or work to call the local mosquito- or vector-control agency. The names of such local agencies can be found on the West Nile information page of the County of Riverside Environmental Health Department website www.rivcoeh.org and state Department of Public Health website www.cdph.ca.gov
In 2011, 11 people were infected in Riverside County. None of them died. The last known West Nile-related fatality in the county occurred in 2008, according to health officials. The vast majority of those infected with the virus never show symptoms, but they can include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes. Fatal cases are rare.
*Contributed by County of Riverside Department of Public Health