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Mosquito activity at a high in Kern County, health officials warn

Posted at 7:37 PM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 22:37:57-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Mosquitoes are making their appearance much sooner than in previous years. According to the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District there has been a much higher activity of mosquitoes in our area, and it’s becoming a health concern.

Gene Abbott, District Manager for Kern Mosquito and Vector Control says they have already treated over 1,500 swimming pools since April. He says this is due to excessive rain and premature warm weather.

“What activity we usually don’t see until August and September we are now seeing in early June,” said Abbott. “With the Quex mosquitoes the carriers of the West Nile virus known as the night biting mosquitoes can make people sicker, they breed in standing water, un-serviced swimming pools, and even buckets.”

As of right now the mosquitoes pose no immediate danger, but they could if not treated.

“Each of these little black dots are mosquito eggs and they lay the eggs just above the water line," Abbott explained.

Mosquito activity is higher at this time than it was in previous years and the day biting mosquitoes can carry diseases.

“These mosquitoes can carry Zika, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Chikungunya and all these diseases we haven't detected them here yet, but we could so that’s always a threat,” said Abbot.

There are certain individuals in our community who are more prone to west Nile, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune systems.

“The amount of carbon dioxide you produce also the chemicals in your sweat and the bacteria on your skin. And your blood type and are some factors why mosquitoes, may hone in on you,” said La Khang, entomologist for Kern Mosquito and Vector Control.

If you have a swimming pool, make sure it's in working condition. Even a simple bucket can become a breeding ground.

“Last year in Kern County we had 13 human cases of West Nile virus, the last death we had associated with the virus was in 2017. So as of right now, we have no cases,” said Michelle Corson, Public Relations Officer for Public Health Services.

Corson says they want to keep that number right at zero and here's how.

“Taking practical steps to reduce the standing water, wear mosquito repellent if you find they are around your environment and do what you can to not be bitten by a mosquito,” said Corson.

Public Health wants to remind individuals when traveling abroad be sure that you are taking extra precaution.