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Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus found in north Fremont

Alameda County increasing its surveillance and larval control efforts throughout the area

The Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District has received confirmation from the state of two West Nile virus positive groups of mosquitoes found July 22 in the northern part of Fremont.

There have been five West Nile virus positive birds found in Fremont so far this year.

The county's Abatement District is increasing its surveillance and larval control efforts throughout this area with virus detections as part of its effort to locate areas of standing water where mosquitoes may breed.

These include catch basins, storm drain systems and swimming pools. Neglected swimming pools continue to be a mosquito breeding issue in the county.

If you or anyone you know has an unmaintained swimming pool please inform the District so the proper treatment can be made.

"A single neglected swimming pool can produce thousands of mosquitoes capable of spreading West Nile virus," District Manager Ryan Clausnitzer said. "We can provide free mosquitofish or treatments to prevent mosquito breeding."

As of last Monday, 247 dead birds, 756 mosquito samples and 43 sentinel chickens have been reported in the state. There has also been one death of an individual who tested positive for West Nile virus.

Clausnitzer urged the public to reduce the risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:

Dump or drain standing water on your property because that is where mosquitoes develop.

Dawn to dusk is when mosquito activity peaks, so limit outdoor activities during this time.

Defend yourself when mosquitoes are biting by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and apply insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Door and window screens should be in good repair with no tears or holes.

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for the infection.

According to Clausnitzer, approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting or rash.

Less than one percent will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Adults over 50 years old and people with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of serious complications. Anyone who develops symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

Horses are also very susceptible to West Nile virus and vaccines are available. Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarians regarding timely vaccinations.

For information about mosquitoes and West Nile virus visit www.mosquitoes.org/

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