San Bernardino County, CA, August 29, 2013 – As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, many people will be enjoying outdoor activities, and it is important for them to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The state laboratory has confirmed increased West Nile Virus (WNV) activity within San Bernardino County. So far this season, the disease has been confirmed in the valley, mountains, High Desert, and Colorado River Basin.

A Victorville resident was hospitalized and has now recovered from WNV. Three dead birds (in Redlands, San Bernardino and Upland) and six sentinel chickens (in Needles and Yucaipa) have tested positive for WNV. Additionally, three samples of mosquitos (in Needles, the Wineville Basin in the Fontana/Ontario flood control channel, and in the Day Creek Basin in the Rancho Cucamonga flood control channel) were WNV-positive.

The California Department of Public Health says that because of the widespread indicators of the virus, people should assume it is present throughout the region and take safety precautions. They offer these guidelines:

* It is very important that property owners remove all sources of stagnant water from their property, such as birdbaths, green swimming pools, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters, or even puddles from leaky sprinklers.
* Residents can play a role in preventing WNV from further spreading in our county by reporting sources of mosquito breeding to the County of San Bernardino’s Mosquito and Vector Control Program at (800) 442-2283.
* Avoid spending time outside when mosquitos are most active, dawn and dusk.
* Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose-fitting and light-colored.
* Use insect repellent containing DEET according to manufacturer’s directions.

For more information, contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283