Santa Clara County officials announced Wednesday that mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus were found in Palo Alto and Mountain View. The county's Vector Control District plans to carry out mosquito fogging on Monday, July 13, between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., weather permitting.
"We want to get ahead of the spread of the virus," said Santa Clara County Vector Control District Manager Denise Bonilla in a statement released July 8. "So far this year there have not yet been any (West Nile virus) human cases reported in the county or the state, and our goal is to prevent infected mosquitoes from transmitting (it) to Santa Clara County residents."
The area targeted for ground fogging treatment includes parts of the 94043, 94303 and 94306 area codes, according to county officials. The area is centered on Louis Road and E. Meadow Drive, and is bordered to the north by the following streets: E. Meadow Drive, Loma Verde Avenue and Colorado Avenue; to the east by Bayshore Road and Terminal Boulevard; to the south by Charleston Road, Middlefield Road and Old Middlefield Way; and to the west by Middlefield Road, Cowper Street, South Court and Carson Court.
Bonilla said a technician assigned to the Palo Alto Baylands tests and treats for West Nile throughout the year.
The mosquitoes carrying West Nile are the species that is mostly found in industrial areas. They are not usually found in the high-salinity marshy area, she said.
Vector control detects the virus by the following methods:
When a dead bird is reported, they pick it up and test it for the disease. If the bird tests positive, they set out traps in a one-mile radius. The mosquitoes are batched for testing. If they test positive, then Vector Control draws another circle one mile out from the previous one-mile trapping area and they fog the total two miles.
Santa Clara County has had 23 birds test positive so far this year. The state has had 132 positive birds so far, she said.
Transmitted by mosquito bites, West Nile virus does not cause symptoms in most people, but in some it can cause fever, headache and body aches, and in severe cases, significant neurological damage or death, according to county officials. For more information, call 408-918-4770 or go to SCCvector.org.