West Nile virus on the rise

West Nile cases on the rise

OROVILLE, Calif. - 11 new cases of West Nile virus have been confirmed in Butte County and experts said the season is far from over.

The Butte County Mosquito and Vector control can't say for sure why the number of cases is on the rise but they said Butte County has more wetlands and rice fields than Shasta, Tehama and Glenn Counties.

Officials said the virus is widespread, but tracking down the mosquitoes that cause it has been difficult.

The BCMVC said they are working around the clock to stop the virus from spreading by taking to the air and ground to kill the larvae before the mosquitoes become adults.

Hundreds of acres are covered with insecticides from planes. And crews from the ground are spraying and searching for infected mosquitoes.

There are two months left of the virus season.

"The best thing to do is to avoid being outside at dusk and dawn or anywhere between there," said BCMVC District Manager Matthew Ball. "If they are going to be outdoors where loose or long sleeves or pants even though the weather is warm or try to wear repellant."

Experts said one of every 150 people bitten by infected mosquitoes suffers the symptoms of the virus and there were 24 human cases of West Nile last year in Butte County.

Mosquitoes are bred from still water and the BCMVC said a couple hundred mosquitoes can breed in a single drop of water. They said unmaintained pools, bird baths or rain gutters are a huge source for mosquitoes.

Mosquito-fish eat up 200 mosquitoes a day, and they are free at the BCMVC in Oroville.

The West Nile virus causes flu-like symptoms and a rash on the skin. If you experience those symptoms it's advised to call your doctor.

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