Efforts to Defend Valley Against West Nile Virus
KMIR6 is investigating the public health threat caused by the highest number of mosquitoes infected by West Nile Virus in the Coachella Valley since the virus arrived in 2003. Video by kmir6.comvideo
KMIR6 is investigating the public health threat caused by the highest number of mosquitoes infected by West Nile Virus in the Coachella Valley since the virus arrived in 2003.
From culverts, to drains, and even manholes, Vector Control is spraying thousands of mosquito breeding grounds.
"We really need this, because medically, it's becoming an epidemic, and people are becoming very ill," said Palm Springs resident, Jearline Williams.
The CDC says nationwide over 3,500 people have been sickened by West Nile --147 people have died this year.
Two people caught West Nile Virus in the valley.
Palm Desert resident, Alfredo Moreno, says his friend's father was infected.
"Nausea, vomiting, light-headed, so he thought it was just a flu at first, but then he had to go into the hospital, get an IV and everything, he was there for about four or five days," said Moreno.
Vector Control is spraying in these dark, damp environments to kill the mosquitoes as they rest during the day.
"The barrier treatments, where we hit the vegetation, we're trying to target adults, we have also additional people looking at larval breeding sites, so looking at catch basins, and so on to try to knock out as much of the population as possible," said Rod Chamberlain, field supervisor with Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control.
Happily, this record-breaking mosquito season is drawing to a close.
"About another month the season typically winds down, so we're looking forward to it slowing up at this point, but we can't say that, anything could happen at this point," said Chamberlain.
So while Vector Control puts extra people on the job to battle the bloodsuckers, some residents are taking precautions.
"Wearing long sleeves, and making sure any water that's out, I pour it out, or just anything I can think of to protect myself and my family," said Williams.
To protect yourself: avoid outside activity from dusk to dawn, wear long sleeves and pants, and spray yourself with mosquito repellent.
Also you can call Vector Control if you see a standing water, such as an abandoned pool.
District Office: (760) 342-8287