Beware the bite

West Nile virus has officially landed in Butte County

With the heat comes mosquitoes, and the first of them carrying West Nile virus this season have made their way to Butte County. Following trends across the state, their numbers are increasing, too.

County officials confirmed their first West Nile-positive mosquitoes earlier this month and less than two weeks later confirmed 12 additional pools carrying WNV insects, all of them in Gridley and Biggs. This is a warning sign that more are yet to come, officials said in a recent Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District press release.

WNV has affected 153 county residents since it first arrived in 2004, and in that time seven people have died from the virus.

To avoid contracting the illness, wear bug repellant, rid your property of standing water and ensure doors and windows have screens. If you suspect a breeding ground, call the mosquito district at 533-6038.