Mosquitoes in Pomona tested positive for West Nile virus, officials with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District announced Monday.
Mosquito control officials are encouraging residents in all San Gabriel Valley communities to take steps now to prevent an outbreak from spreading in their communities.
“We want to make sure that even though we detected it and confirmed it in the city of Pomona, it is lurking in the background of all of our cities,” said Levy Sun, public information officer at the SGVMVCD. “It’s just a matter of time before we detect it throughout San Gabriel Valley. So people should stay vigilant and treat this as an alert, a warning that they should take precautions now before they get sick.”
After discovering the presence of the mosquito-borne disease in a routine test, control officials encouraged residents to take action now to prevent an outbreak from spreading in their communities.
“West Nile virus is endemic, which means we’ll detect it every year in our communities,” said SGVMVCD Scientific Program Manager Melissa Doyle. “As the season heats up, everyone should take the necessary steps to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate stagnant water around their home.”
One in five individuals infected with the WNV, for which there is no cure, will exhibit symptoms that include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or skin rash. The symptoms can last for several days to months.
One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death. Those at greatest risk include seniors and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Doyle urged everyone to take the following actions to stay healthy and bite-free:
Tip out stagnant water around the home weekly;
Toss unused containers that can hold stagnant water; and
Protect against bites by using insect repellent containing CDC- recommended Picaridin, DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
“It only takes one bite for a mosquito carrying West Nile virus to get you sick,” warned SGVMVCD Public Information Officer Levy Sun. “Don’t take your chances.”
Mosquito season in Southern California generally spans May to October.
“Mosquito control is a responsibility shared by all residents, businesses and property owners,” Sun said.
For more information, or to report neglected swimming pools of stagnant water, visit www.SGVMosquito.org or call 626-814-9466.