San Diego County officials recently warned the public to remain vigilant against mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus.
According to the county Department of Environmental Health, seven of the 113 human cases reported nationwide this year have been in California, but there has not been one in San Diego County in the last two years.
WNV causes serious illnesses in one of every 150 people who are infected, but 80 percent with the disease suffer no ill effects, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
The DEH urged residents to dump or remove items that can hold still water, to prevent mosquito breeding; remain inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are active, or wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants; and report dead birds and green, untended swimming pools to county authorities.
The San Diego River, a major source of mosquito breeding, runs right through Santee. The County of San Diego performs monthly "vector control" on the river at Sycamore Creek, Town Center Park and Carlton Oaks in Santee. The larvicides used by the Vector Control Program act specifically on mosquito larvae and do not harm other wildlife.
The DEH has information about West Nile virus online at sdcounty.ca.gov/deh/pests/wnv.html.
-City News Service