West Nile Virus: Still a risk | SierraSun.com

West Nile Virus: Still a risk

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun

Summer’s end is around the corner, but that’s not to say Tahoe-Truckee residents are safe from mosquito-bites and their associated viruses.

“The peak of West Nile Virus transmission is mid-July to mid-September. We are smack in the middle of the highest-risk time,” said Jamesina Scott, vector ecologist with Placer Mosquito and Vector Control.

Due in part to a dry winter, Placer and Nevada counties have had few incidences of dead birds and West Nile-positive mosquito samples. All the virus activity has been in the western parts of both counties, but Tahoe-Truckee is not necessarily in the clear.

“Regardless of where they were picked up … if it’s in the county it means it’s possible to get West Nile Virus from mosquito bites,” said Peggy Zarriello, Nevada County environmental specialist.

There have been 108 human cases of the mosquito-borne disease so far this year in California, but none in Placer, Nevada or El Dorado counties.

“The virus is here so I can’t say there’s not risk. People need to take some common sense precautions,” Scott said.