The Zika virus may be all over the news, but don’t forget that West Nile virus is still a real threat.
“While a lot of attention has been given to Zika virus, West Nile virus killed more Californians in 2015 than any other year before,” said Senator Bob Wieckowski, chair of the Environmental Quality committee and author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 121 in a recent release.
Last year, the California Department of Public Health reported 783 cases of West Nile in California—544 cases developed into the more severe neuroinvasive form of the disease resulting in 53 deaths.
The Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC) reminds Californians to continue to “Fight the Bite,” stressing the importance of protecting themselves against mosquito-borne viruses, especially with summer around the corner. MVCAC’s recommendations include applying insect repellent and dressing in long sleeves and pants when outdoors. Around your home, install or repair broken screens on windows and doors, and be sure to empty any standing water. Standing water is considered any water that stands for a minimum of seven days around your home; for example, water in rain barrels, nonfunctioning swimming pools, flower pots, old tires, and buckets.
Learn more about prevention and protection methods against mosquitoes at the MVCAC’s website, www.mvcac.org.