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April 2013
Volume 3, Issue 2
Communicable Disease Profiles Webpage
Communicable Disease Profiles

We recently launched a Communicable Disease Profiles page! Starting in 2013, the Division of Environmental Health Services will be profiling a different communicable disease each month. Our goal is to raise awareness about the prevention of vector-borne, foodborne, and waterborne diseases.

We have focused on foodborne and waterborne diseases during the first few months of 2013, but as we move into the summer months, we will be focusing on vector-borne diseases. Check back each month for more information!

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New Instagram Account

Instagram

We are now on Instagram! Our username is sbehs. We’ll be posting photos on mosquito and vector control, as well as other environmental health topics. Please follow us on Instagram!


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West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control
Awareness Week is April 21-27, 2013
Mosquito

Mosquitoes and warm weather go hand in hand. Coinciding with the arrival of mosquito season, the California State Legislature declared the week of April 21-27, 2013 as West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness Week in California. West Nile Virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis, and lead to death in humans, horses, some bird species and other wildlife. 2012 was one of the worst years on record for West Nile Virus in the United States, with 5,387 human cases (including 243 fatalities) nationally.

“West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses continue to threaten public health in San Bernardino County,” said Joshua Dugas, Program Manager at the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services. “Because these diseases are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes, residents should take extra precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites and to prevent mosquito breeding in their neighborhoods.”

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), 479 human cases of West Nile Virus were reported in California in 2012. Of the reported cases, there were 19 fatalities. CDPH and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict West Nile virus will again pose a public health threat in California in 2013. Adequately funded mosquito and vector control, disease surveillance and health education programs are the best way to prevent outbreaks of West Nile Virus and other diseases borne by mosquitoes and other vectors.

The following safety precautions are recommended to prevent mosquito-borne illness:

  • Eliminate sources of standing water to discourage mosquito breeding.
  • Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and the first two hours after sunset.
  • If you are outdoors when mosquitoes are biting, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Apply insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). Always apply according to label instructions.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • Contact the Mosquito and Vector Control Program at (800) 442-2283 if there is a significant mosquito problem or potential mosquito breeding source where you live or work.
To read more about West Nile virus, visit CDPH’s website at http://westnile.ca.gov/. To learn more about the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Services’ Mosquito and Vector Control Program, click here.

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Stay Connected to DEHS with Social Media

Follow our social media sites to get the latest news on mosquito and vector control, food safety and foodborne illness prevention, pool safety and drowning prevention, and more! We are now on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook en Español, Pinterest en Español, Twitter en Español, and YouTube en Español.

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If you have any questions or comments, please contact Amanda Gaspard, Health Education Specialist,
at 800-442-2283 or Amanda.Gaspard@dph.sbcounty.gov.

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