The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District is reminding residents to use mosquito repellent and remove standing water to prevent further spread of West Nile virus (WNV).
So far this year, 172 WNV-positive mosquito samples have been found in 19 Orange County cities, including nearby Lake Forest. Nine confirmed human cases have been reported.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes, which become infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. West Nile virus infections are often mild or asymptomatic, but the virus can cause significant cognitive and neurological symptoms in some patients and possibly death.
Remember these tips:
* Wear loose-fitting long sleeves and pants to reduce mosquito bites. Light colors and tighter weave fabrics are best.
* Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin before going outdoors. Reapply repellent as recommended on the label.
* Recommend products include those with the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus products.
* Avoid spending time outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
You can help protect yourself by:
* Draining and eliminating standing water around the home.
* Installing or repairing screens: Keep mosquitoes out with tight-fitting screens on all windows and doors.
* Report any large breeding sites in your neighborhood by calling 949-654-2421.
For more information, visit www.ocvector.org.