Merced County mosquitos found with West Nile virus

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According to the county's Mosquito Abatement, at least 4 of the samples taken from the traps in south Merced tested positive for the virus. (KFSN)

Mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus were found in Merced County.

According to the county's Mosquito Abatement, at least 4 of the samples taken from the traps in south Merced tested positive for the virus.

The department said its an ongoing problem and said, unfortunately, it might be here to stay.

With the summer season, comes mosquito season.

Jason Bakken, a biologist with the Merced County Mosquito Abatement, said this is the time these mosquito traps are used most.

"We've been setting out traps a couple nights a week," he said.

He set one of the traps near a rice field in south Merced. Come Friday, after some of the samples were tested, 4 out of the 50 mosquito samples tested were positive for carrying West Nile virus.

"It only takes one mosquito to get you sick so there doesn't have to be massive amounts," Bakken said.

Mosquitos carrying the virus is a continuing problem for Merced and it could be here to stay.

"The virus is ongoing," Bruce Bondi with Mosquito Abatement said. "It's replicating every year."

It's not just Merced County, the California Department of Health reports an increasing amount of West Nile activity statewide with 30 counties reporting mosquitos positive with the virus.

The effects of the virus can range from being unnoticeable to deadly.

"There's few who get the neuroinvasive disease," Bondi said. "And that's the one that's more serious, can cause a fatality."

The department advises residents to clear any stagnant water, wear repellent, and wear loose clothing to avoid getting bit.

They've been spraying the area for the past two weeks and Bakken said the goal is to prevent the virus from spreading.

"Our biggest concern is a human case," Bakken said. "We're out there trying to prevent that."

He plans to continue placing traps, hoping for fewer positive samples for the rest of the season.
Related Topics:
newswest nile virusmosquitomerced countyMerced County
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