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State Legislature Declares April 21 to 25, 2008 West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week

Campaign Alerts Public of the Threat of West Nile Virus and Other Diseases

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Mosquitoes and warm weather go hand in hand. Coinciding with the launch of mosquito season, the California State Legislature declared the week of April 21 to April 25, 2008 West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week in California. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis and death to humans, horses, avian species and other wildlife.

"It is important for individuals to be aware of personal safety precautions to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus and other diseases," said David Brown, president of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC). "Wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and eliminating standing water in items like pet watering bowls and uncovered trash cans are just a few prevention measures."

The following safety precautions are recommended by the California Department of Health Services:

-- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially

at dawn and the first two hours after sunset.

-- When outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.

-- Apply insect repellant containing DEET according to label instructions.

-- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or

replace screens that have tears or holes.

-- Eliminate all sources of standing water, which can support mosquito


-- Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a

significant mosquito problem where you live or work.

The Legislature's resolution, passed on April 16, 2008, acknowledges that in 2007, West Nile Virus resulted in 16 deaths in California and sickened more than 379 others. The California Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict West Nile Virus will again pose a public health threat in California in 2008. Adequately funded mosquito and vector control, disease surveillance and public awareness programs are the best way to prevent outbreaks of West Nile Virus and other diseases borne by mosquitoes and other vectors.

To learn more about activities in your area for West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week, contact your local mosquito and vector control agency. Contact information can be found on MVCAC's Web site:

MVCAC represents 63 special districts and other subdivisions of local government responsible for mosquito and vector control, surveillance of West Nile Virus and other vector-borne diseases, and public education programs to help Californians protect themselves from the disease. MVCAC advocates safe, effective and environmentally friendly methods of mosquito and vector control.

SOURCE Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California
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