Yuba City-The Sutter-Yuba Mosquito and Vector Control District says there were early indications that West Nile Virus would be a problem this year. As many as 14 people contracted the virus in Yuba County, although total confirmation takes weeks to determine. Another 7 people were infected in adjacent Sutter County.
Mosquito trackers got an indication of what kind of season this would be when a dead crow was found in April with a high West Nile virus load. Then the weather heated up in late June and early July.
“We were actually at 300% of normal for culex mosquitoes in early July,” said Mike Kimball, Manager of the District.
The district escalated its aerial spraying program including some areas that have never been sprayed before.
“We did escalate our aerial spraying and we’ve don more of that this year than any other year,” said Kimball
Dan Frizzell contracted the virus in July, although it took weeks to properly diagnose his mysterious symptoms. He went the to emergency room several times and encountered eye ailments, infections, fatigue and digestion problems. He still has symptoms.
“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” said the 69-year-old Frizzell.
He had never thought anything of getting bitten by mosquitos, but now tells anyone he can to protect themselves from bites.
“I’ve been hurting for a long time now and it’s bad.
Kimball says there are fewer mosquitos now that the weather is cooler and flooded rice fields are being drained for harvest, denying a breeding ground for mosquitoes. But he also says it’s not a time to let down your guard.
“Insect repellant at dusk and dawn on any exposed skin is a must and DEET is still the gold standard for insect repellants,” said Kimball.