According to the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District, a mosquito pool in an area of north Honcut south Palermo has tested positive with the West Nile Virus.
Mosquitoes collected late last week on the west edge of town tested positive for West Nile virus - the earliest discovery in Whiteside County since surveillance began in 2002, the Health Department said in a news release this afternoon.
Health officials said the weather could be a factor. Since 2004, 229 residents have been infected with the virus, eight of which lost their lives.
Mosquito populations continue to increase and with the detection of West Nile virus in the county, the district is urging residents to take precautions by draining any and all standing water that is not needed, reporting any suspected mosquito-breeding sites to the district and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.
He also said people need to steer clear of standing water to decrease the chances of coming in contact with mosquitoes that carry West Nile.
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More infected mosquitoes are sure to be found, and the threat will remain elevated until the first hard frost, Johnson said.
People who are 50 years or older have a higher risk of developing a severe infection because of West Nile, according to TCPH.
Health officials said to protect yourself from mosquitoes that carry the virus, apply insect repellent with DEET, Wear long sleeves and long trousers.
Reduce exposure by avoiding the outdoors when mosquitoes get most active around dusk and dawn.
The public is encouraged to become part of the state's monitoring effort for WNV by reporting any dead birds that may have been dead for less than 48 hours. Apply EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions.