News Alert!!: Needles, CA: Mosquitoes biting on our community.

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News Alert!!: Needles, CA: Mosquitoes biting on our community.

As you may have notices, there’s been an increase of mosquitoes biting on people in our community for the last 2 months.

Many residents and families in Needles, California tell ZachNews of their walks outside or in their back yard and coming inside to find bite marks all over their body, including along their legs even when wearing long pants.

ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary A. Lopez has been bitten many times well covering news stories in the evening and getting weather shots in the day.

Some residents wonder if the “Willow Fire” in late August 2015 and recent storms have played a part in the increase of mosquitoes in our community.

From traveler trying to enjoy a good day along the Colorado River being invaded by a swarm of mosquitoes, to families with their children being bitten by these blood suckers, these mosquitoes are taking a bite on our lives.

Many people in our community are rushing to buying lots of mosquitoes sprays at local stores, from Needles, California to Bullhead City, Arizona, to try to protect themselves from these mosquitoes

The rush on mosquitoes sprays are leaving those stores, like Rite Aid, Walmart, and even the Colorado River Market, all trying to keep the supplies of mosquitoes sprays stocked up, but there has been many reports that many stores, from Needles, California to Bullhead City, Arizona, have sold out of mosquitoes sprays leaving many people searching for mosquitoes sprays.

The topic of mosquitoes biting people in our community came up during the Needles City Council Meeting on Tuesday, October 12th, 2015 wondering if the County of San Bernardino still does spreading anymore in areas where mosquitoes are out of control.

City of Needles Mayor Edward T. Paget M.D. spoke during Needles City Council Requests about the mosquitoes problem in our community of Needles, California.

** Video from ZachNews: **

According to a press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, over the past several years, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Aviation and County Public Health-Vector Control have been involved in a cooperative plan to reduce the West Nile Virus exposures in San Bernardino County, California.

This collaborative effort has kept this, sometimes deadly, virus to a minimum. Recently, area medical centers have reported a rise in West Nile exposures.

For this reason, both County of San Bernardino entities will remain vigilant with reporting the common breeding areas for mosquitoes.

These areas are typically found in stagnant bodies of water and unmaintained pools. Aviation helicopters utilize mapping systems that are downloaded with the County of San Bernardino’s parcel information.

If an area is observed during the crew’s proactive patrol, the flight officer can obtain the specific address information.

Once identified, the information will be forwarded to Vector Control for any enforcement or corrective action.

The mosquitoes have been discovered in over 12 other counties in California, including in San Bernardino County, California.

According to the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, the number of residents to have West Nile Virus in San Bernardino County, California is over 31, including residents from Chino, California to Yucaipa, California.

Out of the 31 cases, 24 of those cases, the virus has progressed to the serious neurological complications.

According to the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, there have been 2 deaths so far in 2015.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Vector control officials say most people infected will not experience any illness.

Other people will have mild symptoms, such as fever, headache, and body aches.

Young children, the elderly and individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk of experiencing more severe symptoms when infected.

Anyone with symptoms should see a doctor.

**** Here are some safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on protecting yourself from mosquito bites: ****

– Wear insect repellent: Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer lasting protection.

– DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.

– Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).

– Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals.

– IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.

** Which mosquito repellents work best?: **

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing.

Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.

EPA registration means that EPA does not expect the product to cause adverse effects to human health or the environment when used according to the label.

** How often should repellent be reapplied?: **

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Regardless of what product you use, if you start to get mosquito bites, reapply the repellent according to the label instructions.

** What precautions should I follow when using repellents?: **

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label. EPA recommends the following when using insect repellents:

– Apply repellents only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not apply repellents under your clothing.

– Never use repellents over cuts, wounds or irritated skin.

– Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using repellent sprays, do not spray directly on your face—spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.

– Do not allow children to handle or spray the product. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths.

– Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Heavy application does not give you better or longer lasting protection.

– After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water or bathe. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days.

– If you (or your child) get a rash or other reaction from a repellent, stop using the repellent, wash the repellent off with mild soap and water, and call a local poison control center for further guidance. If you go to a doctor, it might be helpful to take the repellent with you.

** Can insect repellents be used on children?: **

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Yes. Most products can be used on children. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not to be used on children under the age of three years. EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children other than those listed above.

** Can insect repellents be used by pregnant or nursing women?: **

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Yes. EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for repellent use by pregnant or nursing women.

** More safety information tips regarding mosquitoes and West Nile Virus are at the following website addresses: **

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Safety Tips):

http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/

http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html

**** Here are some safety tips from the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health on what you can do to help control the spread of mosquitoes and West Nile Virus around your property: ****

– Keep pools/spas filtered, cleaned, and chlorinated.

– Report neglected or abandoned pools and spas.

– Routinely check and empty containers with water in them. Turn them upside down to prevent water build up.

– Discard water in bird baths weekly.

– Place mosquito fish in ponds, fountains etc.

– Remove excess vegetation from your property.

– Ensure all septic tank covers are tightly in place.

– Clean out rain gutters to prevent water pooling.

– Don’t over water lawns and remove standing water from low areas on your property.

– Repair any leaking plumbing fixtures.

** More safety information tips regarding mosquitoes and West Nile Virus are at the following website addresses: **

– County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health (Safety Tips):

http://www.sbcounty.gov/uploads/dph/dehs/depts/vectorcontrol/WestNileVirusImportantFactsandSafetyTips.pdf

**** Contact Information: ****

If you have a problem with mosquitoes, please call the Mosquito and Vector Control Program at: 1 (800) 442-2283.

For more information regarding mosquitoes and West Nile Virus as well as what are the symptoms of West Nile Virus and safety tips regarding mosquitoes at the following website addresses:

– County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health:

http://www.sbcounty.gov/dph/dehs/Depts/VectorControl/mosquito_and_vector_control_home.aspx

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html

http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/

**** Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story. ****

** Picture from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. **

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