Stopping Zika spread in Fresno County

Local mosquito control districts are springing into action after finding out Fresno County now has a confirmed case of Zika. 
Health officials say the person contracted the virus while traveling to another country. They came down with symptoms after they arrived back to the Fresno area. 
“If I am one that they want to bite I do not want to get an infection,” says Clovis resident Gerry Derienzo.
From mosquito information pamphlets to bug spray, Gerry Derienzo has it all. 
She lives in a part of Clovis where the non-native Aedes aegypti mosquito is present, the same mosquito that can transmit the Zika virus. 
“Probably more of my concern and my research is my daughter happens to be pregnant at this time and of course people know there is a connection between it and birth defects,” she says.
She says knowing a Zika travel related case has popped up in Fresno County is a concern, but she knows work is being done.
“If we see an imported case time is really of the essence,” says Jodi Holeman from the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.  
The identity and location of the infected individual is kept private, but Jodi Holeman from the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District says local districts are following up. 
“We are trying to contact the individual to figure out if they have moved around, have they traveled around, where do they work in town, where is this person moving around in our communities,” she adds.
She says they are trying to monitor where this mosquito is in relation to where the infected individual has been. 
“We then do extensive surveillance in those areas, we look for the mosquito that can transmit the disease and then we actually look for the pathogen in those mosquitoes so we are collecting mosquito and testing them for disease,” says Holeman. 
She says they work to keep the mosquito population down in the areas the person is known to be, that way they decrease the chances of Zika spreading in coming weeks.
Derienzo says the virus is a worry, but she says this is why people need to take precautions.
“We hope all the neighbors and everyone learns the facts about it so that maybe we can slow it down,” says Derienzo. 
If you have any questions you are urged to call your local mosquito district. 

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April 29 2021 12:00 am

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