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Mosquitoes collected from a mosquito trap in Lancaster recently tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first positive sample reported in the Antelope Valley this year. The trap was placed near 40th Street East and Avenue J-8, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (AVMVCD).

“These positive mosquito samples are a good reminder that West Nile Virus is active in the Antelope Valley and that residents need to be vigilant about personal mosquito control measures,” said District Manager Leann Verdick.

Hot weather is ideal for breeding mosquitoes because stagnant water turns green more quickly and mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in just five days. People bitten by an infected mosquito may develop West Nile fever and experience flu-like symptoms that can include fever, body aches, skin rash, and fatigue.

In some people, West Nile fever can develop into a more serious form of the disease and can even be fatal. AVMVCD officials are urging local residents to do their part to get rid of or treat standing water so that the entire community can benefit from less mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.

AVMVCD urges residents to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations:

• Check property for standing water and get rid of it.

• When mosquitoes are active, use EPA registered insect repellents that contain one of these main ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535 according to label instructions.

• If weather permits, wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible.

• Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good repair to avoid mosquitoes in the home.

• Check around faucets and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days.

• Report daytime biting mosquitoes to the AVMVCD at (661) 942-2917.

• Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD at (661) 942-2917.

• Report dead birds by calling (877) WNV-BIRD (877) 968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.

For more details, visit www.avmosquito.org.

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