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Vector Control: Palm Desert Resident Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District said Thursday that another human case of the virus has been found in the Valley.

A Palm Desert resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus, officials said Thursday.

According to a statement posted by the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, the case brings the total to four human cases in the valley-- and 14 in Riverside County.

There have been a total of 364 human cases statewide this year, according to the California Department of Public Health.  The CDC reports 4,891 cases nationwide.

"The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District received confirmation of the case – a Palm Desert resident – from the Riverside County Department of Public Health," District spokeswoman Jill Oviatt said.

More detailed information about when the person may have contracted the virus was not available.

"It is critical for Coachella Valley residents to understand that we are still seeing West Nile Virus activity even as the weather cools off," said Jeremy Wittie, M.S., the Scientific Operations Manager at the Control District. "People need to ensure they are using repellant and are covered in the early morning and early evening, as we continue our control efforts to protect communities."

According to Oviatt, the District plans to do several things in response to this discovery: 

  • Conduct ultra-low volume (ULV) applications to catch  basins and storm drain systems in Palm Desert with handheld ULV machines
  • Redirect personnel  from other zones to Palm Desert to perform enhanced mosquito larval surveillance
  • Increase inspection and treatment of mapped sites in the city, including re-checking all green pools
  • Actively seek breeding sources which may exist
  • Perform barrier applications to vegetation

"This year in Coachella Valley there have been four confirmed human cases, compared to one in 2011; 115 WNV-positive mosquito samples, compared to 43 in 2011; and 54 WNV-positive sentinel chickens, compared to 33 in 2011," the spokeswoman said.

If you have a mosquito problem in your area, call Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District at 760-342-8287 or 1-888-343-9399.

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