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Mosquito Fogging Set for Thursday in San Jose, Campbell Areas

The first indication of the West Nile virus in Santa Clara County this year was found in mosquitoes collected Friday in parts of Campbell and west San Jose.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
Santa Clara County crews plan to spray insecticide Thursday to kill mosquitoes and prevent the West Nile virus in an area that includes the county's main hospital.

The first indication of the West Nile virus in Santa Clara County this year was found in mosquitoes collected last Friday in parts of Campbell and west San Jose, where the 574-bed Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is located, according to county exterminators.

The adult mosquitoes were collected in neighborhoods with zip codes 95008, 95117, 95126 and 95128 and tested positive for the virus, Santa Clara County Vector Control District manager Russ Parman said.

The vector control district, which is in charge of exterminating infected mosquitoes and other pests, is targeting the zone for ground fogging using small doses of a poison that is not toxic to humans or animals but kills mosquitoes that might pass on the virus to people, Parman said.

West Nile virus, transmitted to humans by mosquito bites, causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, head and body aches and, in more serious cases, neurological damage or even death, Parman said.

Starting at about 11 p.m. Thursday, the exterminators will deploy four trucks carrying tanks of insecticide for about a three-hour fogging operation in the area, sprinkling small amounts on the mosquitoes that are enough to kill them.

The zone set for the fogging operation Thursday is bounded on the north by Rosedale Drive, Moorpark Avenue and Fruitdale Avenue, Phelps Avenue to the west, Leigh Avenue to the east and East Campbell Avenue to the south.

Valley Medical Center, located at 751 Bascom Ave., is in the northeastern corner of the area. The vector control district will contact the medical center on how to approach spraying at or near hospital grounds to eradicate any infected insects in the neighborhood, Parman said.

 "If it is not practical to do the fogging on the property, we'll just do the surrounding streets," Parman said.

Joy Alexiou, spokeswoman for Valley Medical Center, said that she knows of no standing water on hospital property to serve as breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.

"They would spray close to the hospital anyway," Alexiou said. "We don't have any concerns."

The fogging is a mist of insect poison in an "ultra-low volume," equal to one fluid ounce per acre of ground but sufficient to lay tiny droplets that are lethal to the mosquitoes, Parman said.

Most of the flying insects feed at night via bloodsucking bites on birds that become "amplifiers" carrying high levels of West Nile, passing it to new mosquitoes that bite them, Parman said.

The mosquitoes also bite humans and the insects that are positive for the virus can infect their victims.

"The virus is active in the county all year," Parman said.

Last year, there were two documented cases of the virus in humans in the county. Since 2003, at least 19 county residents have contracted the virus and one of those died in 2011.

Statewide, since 2003, 4,004 people have come down with West Nile and 145 of them died.

--Bay City News
Brandi May 20, 2014 at 06:07 PM
My name is Brandi Madison and I am a member of Healthy Alternatives to Pesticides. The Campbell area will be spayed with these unnecessary toxic pesticides THIS THURSDAY! One of the last times Vector Control sprayed their so-called safe pesticides I got really sick for days. These pesticides are dangerous. Our group is meeting with the Department of Agriculture Joseph Deviney to discuss our concerns. If you would like to be involved with our Environmental Group called HAP, please call me at 408-687-5958. The pesticides are also killing off massive colonies of bees, which will lead to environmental catastrophe and food shortages. There is no safe amount of pesticides except zero! Every human, pet, infant, creature exposed to these poisons will be affected to some degree. Pesticides accumulate in our bodies and can cause many health disorders and cancers. Pesticides also end up going into our ground water where once again we ingest them. To demand Vector Control to stop, please directly call Russ Parman at Santa Clara County Vector Control District at (408) 918-4770. Sincerely, Brandi

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