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‘Fight the Bite’ Campaign Against West Nile Virus

Oceanside CA- The County of San Diego is getting a head start on combating the West Nile virus this year with a Fight the Bite campaign. The county has released a series of short informational videos, which you can see below, and an app for smartphones.

The app is an all in one application where you can take photos of West Nile related problems and report them to county health officials. You can get the app here [Link] from the county’s app center.

West Nile virus (WNV), is a disease transmitted to humans, birds, horses, and other animals, by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get the disease from feeding on infected birds and can later pass it on when they bite animals or humans.

About the Fight the Bite app

WNV is established in San Diego County and can be found in all 58 counties in California. The virus was first isolated in the West Nile district of a Northern Province in Uganda in 1937. It was first detected in the United States in New York City in 1999. From there, the virus spread westward, arriving in California in 2003. West Nile virus is now the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the United States.

A Vector Control Program protects communities and the environment by controlling mosquitoes that can transmit diseases to humans.

In 2005, a ballot measure was passed by property owners providing the Department of Environmental Health Vector Control Program additional funding to support mosquito, vector and disease control services. The ballot identified a portion of the funding would be used for a Vector Habitat Remediation Program. The Program implements long-term solutions for controlling mosquito breeding habitat and provides increased protection to the public from mosquito-borne diseases.

Go Blue not Green

Under this Program, grant funding is offered to landowners and managers, including public sector entities, to physically alter chronic mosquito breeding sites in ways that will reduce mosquito breeding habitats and improve the effectiveness of mosquito breeding control measures in a more environmentally friendly way. The Program provides a strong focus on designing, modifying and maintaining wetlands and stormwater facilities to function in a way that will reduce or eliminate mosquito breeding habitat while balancing the water quality, biological, aesthetic and hydrological values of wetlands.

The Program offers two types of grants: directed and competitive. Directed grants are limited to $50,000 per individual project and competitive grants are limited to $500,000 per individual project.

Protect yourself

The best protection, for yourself, is using a mosquito repellent. Those containing DEET are the most effective but if you wish to use an alternative to chemicals, there are many natural ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites. You can find eight natural repellants here [Link]. You can also find several apps for your smart phone that use sound to repel the pests.