WNV in Tulare, vaccines, pg 1
rns MIL. about the virus in Tulare County Z 4 ' - J v5 I ifi- ifi- ' .'. -Pa -Pa T A n r ill, . , , r i. ! t " 4 .t Y, " ' f - I ,.'-'.;'. ,.'-'.;'. ,.'-'.;'. f. a i it - - - ' V1 i ' r ' ' i : ... v. , -. -. ; : i-Wtmiiimii i-Wtmiiimii i-Wtmiiimii ill iimiIUM ; . - . r ) Ron HoltnanStaff photographer Above: Delta Vector Control District foreman Darin Dula sprays Artosid, a liquid larvacide, on an area off Road 132 (Ben Maddox Way) just south of Avenue 352 Inset The species Culex tarsalis transmits the West Nile virus. Virus reports on the decline By Jillian Daley Staff writer No one in Tulare County has come down with a case of West Nile virus so far this year. Last year, there were 60 human cases, one fatal. In 2004, the virus arrived in Tulare County with three nonfatal cases. The virus, which spreads via the bite of an infected mosquito, is still showing itself this year in animals such as horses, though those cases are down from previous years. This year, two horses horses have been infected, as opposed to 22 last year. Experts say the virus may not be as widespread, widespread, but that does not mean it has left the area. Some people have attributed the dip in cases to a growing immunity in carriers. But more likely explanations are that the virus' prevalence plummets in the third year it spends in an area, and the mosquito population is being better controlled in Tulare County. A state health expert said state funding of increased spraying and personnel is what has brought the mosquito population dowa Weather also is playing a part in the decrease in West Nile virus cases. Rain This year, Visalia had 13.64 inches of rain from January to May compared to 8.69 inches last year during the same months and 4.93 inches in 2004, according to the National Weather Service's Web site. Mosquitoes often breed in stagnant pools or See West Nile3A Is there a vaccine on the horizon? By Jillian Daley Staffwriter Testing of several potential vaccines that will protect humans fromthe West Nilevirus is under way, but whether any will be approved for use is an open question, researchers say. And, they say, it could be years before the federal Food and Drug Administration approves any of the vaccines currently being tested. Some say a vaccine may never be approved approved for use because because the mosquito-borne mosquito-borne mosquito-borne virus infects so few people each year. The cost of final development would likely exceed the return drug companies could expect For now, there is no vaccine and no drug treatment, treatment, though both are in the works. Treatment now includes only rest and, in some cases, pain killers. See Vaccine3A Inside Jack Kelly ClarkUniversity of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Coping with WestNile3A How West Nile spreads3A Protect yourself Drain all standing water so mosquitoes can't breed in it Use mosquito repellent Make sure all door and window screens fit well and are in good condition. Vaccinate horses. Half of all horses that get West Nile virus die. Stay inside at dawn and dusk, as mosquitoes are most active then. Source: Tulare Mosquito Abatement Control District Contacts Report dead birds to California West Nile virus hotline (877) 968-2473. 968-2473. 968-2473. Information: Tulare Mosquito Abatement District at 686-6628 686-6628 686-6628 or Delta Vector Control Control District in Visalia at 732-8606. 732-8606. 732-8606. Online: Visit The Delta Vector Control District Web site at wwvv.deravcdcorn, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Prevention at www.cofc.gov ncidoddvbidwest nileor California State Government's West Nile virus site at westnile.ca.gov, which offers updates on the number of West Nile virus cases. Your views Want to respond to this story, or any local story in today's Times-Delta? Times-Delta? Times-Delta? Go to www. VisaliaTimesDelta. com, click on the story, story, then find the Story-Chat Story-Chat Story-Chat logo. It will take you to a forum where you can post comments. comments.