Zika, West Nile virus preventative measures taken in San Bernardino County

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- With the recent rise in Zika virus, the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control were taking extra preventative measures to help protect people against mosquito-borne diseases.

While the Zika virus hasn't been detected in mosquitoes in the U.S., health officials stated other mosquito-borne viruses were already present.

Lawmakers hoped to increase preventative measures to protect against diseases such as Zika virus and West Nile virus.

"I would really like to see local governments be able to do increased testing and monitoring, so we can continue to be diligent when it comes to Zika in our communities," U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar said.

Health officials were using sentinel chickens in San Bernardino County to observe for any signs of West Nile virus in the region.

"If we have one chicken that goes positive with West Nile virus, we know obviously, we have West Nile in the area," Jason Phillippe of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health explained.

Though the mosquitoes that carry Zika virus and West Nile virus are different species, however, eliminating their water source can combat both.

"We need to stop them at early on, within three days of their life cycle," Ramiro Salazar with the San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control said.

Lawmakers like Aguilar said they plan to allocate funds to continue regulating and monitoring the mosquito population.
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