The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reported this week that a Lancaster resident has become the third person locally to be infected with the mosquito-borne West Nile virus this year.
The first human case of West Nile virus for 2015 was reported in September; a second case was reported in October when a middle-aged Lancaster man died from complications of the disease.
Authorities at the vector control district reported that two chickens sampled on Oct. 28 reported positive for West Nile virus. District officials said the chickens were located at flocks that had showed virus activity in the past.
“The temperature spike and rain that we had in late September and mid-October were probably to blame for the virus transmission,” said Cei Kratz, district manager. “Recent temperature drops have significantly decreased the virus activity, even though mosquitoes might still be around.”
Officials with the district are checking for unkempt swimming pools, ponds and large basins of standing water locally and are discovering additional mosquito breeding. They urge residents to remove standing water from around their homes to avoid a mosquito habitat forming. When collecting water in barrels and buckets, they said it is important to cover them with screens to prevent mosquitos from moving in.
This year in the Antelope Valley, West Nile virus has been reported in 24 chickens, two mosquito samples and the three human cases.
For more information about the best ways to avoid the mosquito-borne illness, call (661) 942-2917.