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San Diego County To Spray Mosquito Pesticide For Zika Prevention

Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an aggressive biter both indoors and outdoors, especially during the day.

County officials plan to hand-spray a two-block area of South Park on Friday morning in order to prevent an outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases.

The spraying is scheduled for a neighborhood bounded by Grape Street on the north, Elm Street on the south, 31st Street to the west and 32nd Street to the east.

According to county vector control, Aedes mosquito larvae were found in the area where a resident was sickened by a possible mosquito-borne illness.

The unnamed person contracted the disease elsewhere. In an abundance of caution, county officials want to make sure whichever illness he or she has doesn't spread to the local mosquito population, which would then infect area residents.

Adult Aedes mosquitoes can transmit tropical diseases, but none have ever been found in San Diego County carrying any infections.

"Although there has not been a confirmed case of any disease in this situation, we are taking appropriate steps to minimize potential risk and protect the public's health,'' said Dr. Sayone Thihalolipavan, the county's deputy public health officer.

The sick resident traveled to a country where tropical diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever and the Zika virus are active, and developed symptoms upon returning home. State officials are expediting tests to determine if the person has a mosquito-borne disease.

County vector control said the pesticide, Pyrenone 25-5, poses low risks to people and pets. However, people who would prefer to avoid or minimize their exposure to the pesticide can take simple steps:

  • Stay inside and bring pets indoors if possible;
  • Close doors and windows, and turn off fans that bring outdoor air inside the home;
  • Cover ornamental fishponds to avoid direct exposure;
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables from your garden with water before cooking or eating; and beekeepers and those with insects kept outdoors are encouraged to shelter hives and habitats during treatments.

Normal activities can be resumed a half-hour after the treatment.

Vector control plans to continue trapping for Aedes mosquitoes in the area and nearby locations for several weeks.

Officials reminded all county residents to prevent mosquito breeding by getting rid of standing water in saucers, old tires, buckets and the like; avoid bites by remaining indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and wearing long sleeves and pants.

Report daytime bites or discoveries of Aedes mosquitoes to vector control at (858) 694-2888.

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