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CALIFORNIA

West Nile Spraying to Be Expanded

August 31, 2004|Sandra Murillo | Times Staff Writer

Health officials in San Bernardino County, where more than a third of the state's 343 cases of West Nile virus have been reported, announced Monday that they would expand mosquito spraying to Needles and Loma Linda.

The county's Vector Control Program will be using truck-mounted foggers. Spraying will be done in Needles between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, and the same time Thursday in Loma Linda, officials said.

Recent tests have shown that parts of those cities had a high population of virus-carrying mosquitoes, said Joan Mulcare, a program manager with the Vector Control Program.

Two county residents have died and 120 people had been infected with West Nile virus as of Monday, Mulcare said. According to state officials, 343 people in the state have tested positive for the virus and 10 have died.

Most infected people do not experience symptoms. Some report headaches, body aches and fever within two weeks of infection. The elderly, frail and those with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to death.

In Loma Linda, where an 88-year-old died of the virus last week, residents are taking precautions more seriously, said Jeff Peterson, associate engineer at the city's Department of Public Works. Residents have become more vigilant about reporting West Nile hazards, including standing water.

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