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Health Officials Urge Proactive Safety Measures Against West Nile

West Nile

As longer, warmer days get closer, San Diego County officials are kicking off their yearly West Nile Virus awareness campaign.

The County Department of Environmental Health told reporters during a press conference Wednesday morning that despite few cases in San Diego County, last year's West Nile Virus season was brutal for most areas across the country.

The epidemic levels of last year prompted officials to be proactive about preparing San Diego County residents for the upcoming season.

Chris Conlan with the San Diego County vector control program said that just because San Diego was spared last year doesn't mean it will be this time around.

"Texas had one of the highest cases in the US last year," he said. "We don't want that complacency to fall here as well."

Conlan added that one of the best ways to stop breeding of mosquitoes is to make sure property is free of empty tires or places that water might pool since mosquitoes are most likely to reproduce near stagnant water.

Other tips include using insect repellent, dumping out water in plant saucers, buckets, wheelbarrows and old spare tires and reporting dead birds and green swimming pools at abandoned houses.

"Stay indoors when mosquitoes are active at dusk and dawn," added Eric McDonald of San Diego Public Health. "And if you have to be out, wear long sleeves and pants."

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