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West Nile virus found in Orange County park

June 26, 2012 |  9:22 am

Approximate location of incident shown in red.

Vector control officials are warning the public that the first signs of West Nile virus for the year have shown up in Orange County.

Routine testing of adult female mosquitoes last week at Modjeska Park in Anaheim uncovered the virus, which can present a serious health threat to the elderly, pregnant women and people who suffer from immune-system deficiencies.

“These findings should serve as a reminder that West Nile virus is an endemic virus in Orange County that continues to threaten public health,” said Robert Cummings of the Orange County Vector Control District. “Although the positive mosquitoes were collected in Anaheim, the public should assume that the virus is now active throughout the county.”

Although many people are bitten by mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, most do not know they have been exposed, public health officials say. Few people develop severe infections or even notice any symptoms, which include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, headache, sore throat and a lack of appetite.

Vector-control officials urge the public to inspect their homes and property for mosquito-breeding areas and avoid exposure to mosquito bites during the July 4 celebrations.

The precautions include eliminating standing water, making sure that all screens are in good repair, wearing insect repellent and reporting untended pools of water and dead birds to vector control officials at (714) 971-2421,  (949) 654-2421 or www.ocvcd.org.


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Image: Approximate location of incident shown in red. Credit: Google Maps