A mosquito sample tested positive for the West Nile Virus in Elk Grove, local mosquito control officials announced on June 10. This marks the first time that the virus was detected in mosquitoes in Sacramento County this year.

Gary Goodman, the general manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, said mosquito activity has increased during the recent, hot weather.

“It’s important for residents to take these findings seriously and do everything they can to protect themselves,” he said in a press statement.  

West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that infects humans and cause flulike symptoms in mild cases, and can become lethal in severe cases. There were 225 confirmed West Nile human cases and six deaths in California last year, Goodman’s district staff reported.

West Nile has been detected in mosquitoes and dead birds in Sacramento and Yolo counties over the past 15 years.

Luz Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, told the Citizen that the recent Elk Grove case was found in mosquito samples collected from one of her district’s surveillance traps.

The district does not have plans to spray pesticide to reduce mosquito populations, as of press time. Their staff will instead trap more mosquitoes and monitor areas where mosquitoes may be breeding.

Mosquito control officials encourage people to wear repellant when they go outside as more mosquitoes hatch this summer. Residents are also advised to drain standing bodies of water where mosquitoes can lay eggs in their yards. Examples of standing bodies of water include flower pots, tires, and bird baths.

For more information about the West Nile Virus, local mosquito activity, and free, mosquito-eating fish that can be placed in ponds, visit the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District at www.FightTheBite.net.