Four mosquitoes in Palm Springs test positive for West Nile Virus

PALM SPRINGS – Four mosquito samples from Palm Springs tested positive for West Nile virus, it was announced today.

The samples bring the Coachella Valley’s total number of positive mosquito samples to 41, compared to 109 at this time last year, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

The most recent Palm Springs samples were collected from traps near the intersections of East Paseo El Mirador and Pasatiempo Road, East Cottonwood Road and North Via Miraleste, East Via Altamira and North Indian Canyon Drive, and East Vista Chino and North Palm Canyon Drive.

They bring the total number of positive samples found in Palm Springs to eight — last year, there were none, according to the vector control district.

In response, the district will do barrier treatments in and around residential areas where samples were found. On Wednesday and Thursday, a light mist will be applied to vegetation where mosquitoes hide and rest, and ground treatments will be conducted in areas bordered by East Vista Chino, Avenida Caballeros, Mel Avenue and Chaparral Road for three consecutive mornings starting Wednesday.

Residents and pets should stay inside, and windows kept closed and window-unit air conditioners turned off, during and for 30 minutes after spraying. Signs will be posted along routes and at .

Information was also distributed on Saturday to residents within a mile of the traps in Palm Springs where the infected mosquitoes were found, according to the vector control district.

A 60-year-old woman from southwest Riverside County was found to be infected with WNV in August, marking the first confirmed human case countywide this year. She was hospitalized for treatment of virus-related symptoms and then started recovering at home, according to public health officials.

West Nile, especially dangerous to the very young and very old, is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most healthy people is low — less than 1 percent of those infected can develop a neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis, according to the vector control district.

Anyone with symptoms should call a doctor. For tips on preventing bites and mosquito-proofing a home, go to . To report mosquito problems, including neglected pools or standing water, call (760) 342-8287 or (888) 343-9399.

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