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Vector Control targets pools, ponds for West Nile prevention

October 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The number of West Nile Virus cases is on the rise in San Bernardino County and now deputies are trying to map out areas with the highest risk.

A murky green algae-filled pool can be home to mosquitoes. That's a breeding ground the San Bernardino County Vector Control Program is trying to prevent.

"It actually creates an environment where the mosquitoes are attracted to and want to breed. Since we do have West Nile Virus in this area, that's an issue we definitely want to educate and have everyone understand that potential threat," said Ray Britain, program manager with the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

The threat is on the rise. Vector Control is tasked with keeping the mosquito population down by locating, treating and eliminating stagnant water. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department plays a vital role in this effort with an "eye in the sky."

"Our aviation deputies were able to locate and identify numerous pools, ponds, and other stagnant puddles of water that were believed to very likely be breeding grounds for mosquitoes," said Jodi Miller, San Bernardino County Sheriff's spokeswoman.

In just the last two months aviation deputies identified 315 properties in the county of San Bernardino as potential breeding grounds.

Topping the list was Fontana, with 123 properties. San Bernardino came in second with 60 properties, followed by Rialto's 56 and Colton's 20 properties.

Last week Vector Control Technician Andrea Chew treated a pool and notified the property company to drain it.

"It did have mosquitoes in it and I did treat it. Their notice is actually up tomorrow," said Chew. After a third notice, Vector Control will drain the pool and send the bill to the property owner.

Public health officials say last year there were four human cases of West Nile Virus. So far this year there are nine cases.


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