West Nile virus present in mosquito on the south coast


KCLU’s Lance Orozco reports on the discovery of a mosquito in Santa Barbara County that carries the West Nile virus.

As if COVID-19 and influenza weren’t enough, parts of the south coast have a different type of disease that is a threat.

The West Nile virus was found in Santa Barbara County for the first time in more than three years.

The virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. A mosquito caught during a regular trapping program by the Santa Barbara County’s Mosquito and Vector Control District tested positive for the virus

Brian Cabrera is the district’s general manager. He says the mosquito was found in an area between Santa Barbara and Goleta. He says the most important thing people can do to stop the mosquitoes is to remove stagnant water from their yards because that is where the mosquitoes breed.

As a general precaution, Cabrera recommends using mosquito repellants to avoid being outside during times of the day when mosquitoes are most active and to wear clothing to protect arms and legs.

West Nile does not affect most people. For some, it can cause flu-like symptoms. And for older adults and those with pre-existing health problems, it can lead to serious illness or death.

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