Spraying for West Nile Virus in Yolo County

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WOODLAND -- The Sacramento Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District will conduct aerial spraying for mosquitoes in Woodland on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings because of a recent increase in West Nile activity.

"Targeting the mosquitoes now, it makes a huge difference," District public information officer Luz Maria Robles said.

Robles said this week's triple digit temperatures are only expected to make more mosquitoes hatch faster since heat speeds up their life cycles.

So far this year in Yolo County, 73 mosquito samples and 26 dead birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus. The aerial spraying announcement came on the same day that Yolo County Public Health announced that two people in Woodland tested positive for West Nile Virus.

"They were asymptomatic, or symptom free, but knew they had West Nile Virus because they went to donate blood and it got screened," Robles said.

Robles said that 70 percent of people who test positive for West Nile Virus never experience any symptoms, about 20 percent of people experience flu-like symptoms, and a small amount of people have a more serious reaction including neurological illnesses like meningitis or encephalitis.

"But for those who do become ill, the symptoms are long lasting," Robles said.

The aerial spraying will cover a 17,000 acre stretch of land across the entire city of Woodland and surrounding agricultural areas. A low-flying airplane will spray a fine mist of insecticide over the neighborhoods starting at around 8 p.m. and ending at midnight on both Tuesday July 26 and Wednesday, July 27.

Robles said there is no need to prepare in advance because the insecticide is diluted enough that it is not harmful to humans or pets.

You can also sign up for text message alerts of upcoming aerial spraying by going to fightthebite.net or by texting "sprayupdate" to 69922