West Nile Virus is alarming example of climate change’s effects « Culture & Features « Peninsula Press

July 13, 2014 3:54 AM

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The message gets to the Santa Clara County Mosquito and Vector Control District that a dead bird was found in Sunnyvale. If it’s a crow or a jay, the district sends out a team to collect the bird and bring it back to their in-house lab to test it for West Nile Virus. If the bird tests positive, a team of five technicians in white pick-up trucks goes out and sets 40 mosquito traps in a one-mile radius of the site. At this point, Dr. Noor Tietze, Entomologist is called in for mapping and planning strategies. After one night of trapping, the team returns in their white pick-up trucks to collect the mosquitoes and bring them back for testing.

“If we get any positive mosquitoes, we go to the next step and fog the area,” said Tietze. They spray with Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fog, an insecticide strong enough to knock down the mosquito population by 60-80 percent but mild enough to use in residential areas. In case this brings to mind “Silent ...

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