Sunnyvale, CA

Watch out, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara: West Nile Virus mosquitoes found in three South Bay zip codes

Grace Goes on an Adventure

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A close up of a mosquito. Santa Clara County recently made public that West Nile was found in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara.Wolfgang Hasselmann / Unsplash

Be careful out there, South Bay: a mosquito bite could be deadly.

From a presser released this morning, County of Santa Clara Vector Control District has confirmed positive tests for West Nile Virus (WNV) in adult mosquitoes, collected from the 94086, 94087, and 95051 zip codes. The department did not state exactly how positive cases were found but has scheduled a truck-mounted adult mosquito control treatment to the areas to prevent human cases of WNV. The work is set to begin at 10 p.m. on Monday, August 30, weather-permitting, and will take a few hours to complete.

The county has already begun flyering in the respective areas to inform community members of the scheduled mosquito treatment, and will further send alerts via AlertSCC, NextDoor neighborhood networks, and MailChimp notification recipients.

Since WNV arrived in California in 2003, 7,360 people have contracted the disease, with 339 fatalities. In 2020, there was one human WNV related fatality; 2015 was a record year for fatalities in the state, with 55 deaths.

The virus does not typically cause serious infections in most individuals. However, some can experience cause fever, headache, body aches, and, in severe cases, significant neurological damage or death. Adults over the age of 50 or individuals with certain medical conditions — including diabetes, cancer, or kidney disease — are at the highest risk for serious complications.

The county acknowledges that community members will not be displaced during the treatment. For those who wish to minimize exposure for family members or pets, the county recommends closing windows and remaining indoors during the treatment period, which typically lasts three hours.

To further help prevent the spread of WNV, the county recommends individuals to:

  • DRAIN or DUMP standing water weekly. Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water. 
  • Drain, remove or turn over anything that can hold water, such as flowerpots, planter bases, bird baths, toys, cans, rain gutters, pet dishes, buckets, and old tires. Fix leaky water faucets and sprinklers.
  • Screens on doors and windows should be tight-fitting and in good condition.
  • Do not let your swimming pool water fall below the pump circulation area.

In going outdoors in areas where there may be mosquitoes, the county recommends avoiding outdoor activities during dawn and dusk. If you need to be outdoors during these times, you should aim to wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants, preferably in light colors, as well as apply EPA-approved insect repellent.

For community members who are still concerned or have further questions, the county has set up a public dedicated hotline, (408) 282-3114, available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Questions can also be submitted via email, at vectorinfo@cep.sccgov.org.

Follow Grace on Twitter for more Bay Area updates: @grace_m_stetson.

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Hi there! I'm Grace Stetson, an affordability correspondent and freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I recently moved back to my hometown after a few years of living in Chicago, IL, and Brooklyn, NYC, and there's a lot more to see than I originally expected. With that, I'm going out and about from as far south as Monterey to as far north as Marin to find you the best hidden gems, backwoods trails, and delicious eats across the Bay. Come join me on this adventure!

Sunnyvale, CA
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