The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District announced that for the first time this year, mosquitoes in the valley have tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis (SLEV).
The infected mosquito samples were collected from a trap that was located near Orchid Court and Avenue 62 in Thermal, according to the CVMVCD.
SLEV can be transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite. CVMVCD officials say that most people will not experience any sign of illness from the virus, however, some may have flu-like symptoms, like fever, headache, and body aches.
Few cases require hospitalization. In rare cases, the virus can be fatal.
"Residents across the valley need to protect themselves from mosquito bites." said Tammy Gordon, Public Information Officer for the District. "Avoid spending time outdoors at dawn and dusk. If you have to be outdoors at these times, wear long sleeves and apply repellent with ingredients like DEET or other EPA registered ingredients."
CVMVCD will be increasing mosquito control technicians in the area to look for breeding sites. Virus notice signs will be placed around the communities that are located near the trap location.
In addition, staff will carry out mosquito control treatments as necessary in the surrounding area in an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt further transmission of the virus.
CVMVCD officials say the best line of defense in reducing mosquito numbers is to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
Officials advise residents to:
- Remove water-holding containers around their homes and neighborhood
- Drain areas where water can collect such as low lying landscape areas
- Wipe down pet dishes weekly and throw out plant saucers