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Vector Program

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Vector Program
Published on: 3/21/2012 12:00 AM

West Nile Virus, Ticks, Hantavirus, etc.

This program within the Consumer Protection Division consists of a surveillance system that monitors and responds to any vectorborne disease that can be passed from animals to people including plague, hantavirus, rabies, tickborne diseases, West Nile Virus and others. Mosquito control is a main focus of this program with staff monitoring the county for West Nile virus activity by collecting animals that have died suspiciously and collecting live chicken blood for analysis for disease activity. To reduce the spread of West Nile virus and nuisance mosquitoes, staff provide integrated mosquito management by request looking for physical, biological and larvicide treatment solutions for property owners.  Close collaboration with the State Public Health Biologist and the Nevada County Agriculture and Public Health Departments are essential to locate the source of a potential outbreak, provide surveillance, and conduct public outreach and education.

West Nile Virus

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. Bed bugs live in mattresses, linens, and headboards, as well as in the walls, flooring, and other furniture in areas where people sleep in homes, hotels, and other dwellings. Because bed bugs usually feed at night when people are sleeping, most people do not realize they were bitten. The only evidence that a person was bitten may be itchy welts that appear a few days later. Bed bugs do not transmit disease, but are a nuisance and infestations should be controlled by a licensed pest control operator. Visit the California Department of Public Health Bed Bug Webpage.

Additional Information on Bedbugs

Diseases and Conditions A through Z

"Diseases & Conditions" provides links to information for communicable, infectious, and chronic diseases. Pages for specific diseases include links to fact sheets and disease information provided by California Department of Public Health as well as external agencies, organizations, and groups. Visit the California Department of Public Health Diseases and Conditions Webpage.

Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary

Visit the State Vector-borne Disease Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome Webpage

Plague  

Plague is a bacterial disease people can get if they are bitten by an infected rodent flea. Most persons with plague develop fever and swollen lymph nodes. Plague is treatable with antibiotics, but can progress to severe and sometimes fatal illness if diagnosis and treatment are delayed. Squirrels, chipmunks, and other rodents in many areas of California can carry plague. Persons visiting, hiking, or camping in these areas should avoid contact with rodents. Visit the Californina Department of Public Healh Plague webpage.

 

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete (a corkscrew shaped bacteria) called Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted by the western black-legged tick. Lyme disease was first described in North America in the 1970s in Lyme, Connecticut, the town for which it was then named. This disease has since been reported from many areas of the country, including most counties in California. Visit the California Department of Public Health Lyme Disease webpage.

Head Lice

Head lice are small insects that live in people's hair and feed on their blood. Lice glue their eggs, or "nits," to hair so that the nits do not get brushed off. Lice die quickly (within two days) without feeding so they cannot live very long away from your child's head. Nits take six to nine days to hatch, and seven or more days for the lice to become egg-laying adults. How do people get head lice? Children can give head lice to other children when they share combs, hats, clothing, barrettes, helmets, scarves, headphones, or other personal items. Head lice are a problem in homes, day care centers, elementary, and preschools. Kids are much more likely to get lice from family members and playmates than from classmates at school. Visit the California Department of Public Health Head Lice webpage.

Tularemia Disease (Rabbit Fever, Deer-fly Fever)

Tularemia is an infectious bacterial disease (Francisella tularensis). Tularemia is usually a disease of wild animals, but severe illness and death may also occur in humans. The bacterium that causes tularemia is common in various kinds of ticks and in small and medium-sized mammals, especially rabbits, hares, beavers, muskrats, and voles. In the United States, there are two main sources of infection for humans: 1) bites by ticks or biting flies, and 2) contact with infected animals or their carcasses, especially the cottontail rabbit. People may also become infected from eating improperly cooked rabbit or hare meat or from contact with contaminated water, dust, hay, mud, or animal bites. The disease is not spread from human-to-human.
To prevent infections, avoid exposure to bites by ticks and blood-feeding flies and avoid direct contact with wild animal tissues. When you enter areas infested with biting flies and ticks, wear protective clothing, tuck pants into socks, and apply insect repellants as directed by the manufacturer. Examine clothing and skin frequently for ticks. Remove attached ticks promptly. Hunters and trappers need to wear gloves, masks, and protective eye covers when handling animal carcasses. Animals that appear ill should not be skinned or dressed. Teach children to not handle any sick or dead animals. Visit the California Department of Public Health Tularemia Disease webpage.