Rising Cases of Positive West Nile Virus Infestation in Alameda and Santa Clara County

Capriccia Thomas, Health Editor

Mosquitoes have been identified in areas of South Bay tested positive for the West Nile virus. Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma, and Solano have reported West Nile virus activity in these Bay Area communities from infected mosquitoes.

The similarities between COVID-19 and West Nile virus infections include: fatigue, fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and body aches. It’s important to pay attention to early signs of these symptoms so that you can be treated.

In addition, West Nile virus infections stay in the body for three to six days which is close to COVID-19 infection appearing after 2-14 days after exposure. In both cases, it’s advised to stay home to avoid further contact. Despite the similarities, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted by mosquitoes.

In Santa Clara County, there have been positive cases reported. “The district has a surveillance team dedicated to monitoring for the presence of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus,” Beverly Perez, a Vector Control Community Specialist, County of Santa Clara Vector Control District.

There are measures set in place by the district to combat the positive West Nile virus. “If a West Nile virus mosquito is detected, the district initiates an adult mosquito control treatment to reduce the mosquito population in the area,” Perez continued.

The district has implemented a standard protocol to assist people with information about transmission. General notices are provided on various social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If the public has additional questions about the West Nile virus, they can contact the district’s West Nile virus hotline at (408)-282-3114.

In Alameda County, the majority of the county is served by the Mosquito Abatement District. Over 2,500 mosquito species exist around the world, 22 of the species are found in Alameda County. According to the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District, eight of the species account for over 99% of complaints from the public and require most of the field control efforts by the district.

The district’s primary mosquito abatement resources are divided between public education, identification, and control of local aquatic habitats. The Vector Control Services District in Alameda County can assist people to report insects such as mosquitoes who transmit diseases to humans and pets. To protect yourself, friends, and family, click here to learn more.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 or West Nile virus symptoms, contact your health care provider and stay home until tested. “Tests are available to determine if a person is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 or the West Nile virus. Unlike West Nile, a vaccine is available for COVID-19 and we encourage every eligible person who hasn’t gotten vaccinated, to do so as soon as possible,” Neetu Balram stated, the Alameda Department of Public Health Public Information Manager.

In light of the similarities of symptoms between COVID-19 and West Nile virus, take the needed protocol to report any cases and get tested if symptoms occur. For more information, please visit this link or call 510-783-7744.