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“There are faster and more reliable ways to monitor for virus activity,” she added. And, these officials say, there is one burden above all when maintaining the programs: Even as climate change has lengthened mosquito season, starting often in March and lasting beyond November, vector control budgets have generally stagnated. “I think a lot of it is they don’t want to pay for the time and manpower,” Rush, with Long Beach vector, said of his regional peers. By cutting its program, Sun said, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District saved $30,000 a year – money it is directing to increasing the number of mosquito traps and enlarging its wild-bird tracking system.
In San Bernardino, the local vector control saved $60,000 by cutting its program, Instead, that agency too is using more mosquito traps, said Lana Cao, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino Public Health Department, But there is a second problem – there is a new mosquito in town, And it doesn’t play by the same rules, Morales and Vetrone pulled into El Dorado Park in Long Beach at about 11:15 a.m., on March 20, They made a how to use lambswool in pointe shoes sharp left, and headed down a road closed to the public, The road ended about 30 feet later; the truck rolled onto dirt..
A white, 8.5-foot-long, do-it-yourself coop waited for them. As did Kluh, their supervisor. Morales and Vetrone, with the help of a third employee, opened the truck and removed a yellow crate. One by one, they laid the chickens onto the truck’s flatbed. They tagged them. Then, holding them down, the workers extended their wings and felt for a vein. The needle went in, and blood came out. Some of the chickens looked mildly annoyed. Others tried to free their wings. A few let out plaintive clucks.
The blood drawn, they went into the coop, To sit, to wait, to get attacked, Their blood samples, meanwhile, went upstate, to a lab in Richmond, “It usually takes a couple of days before they post the lab results,” how to use lambswool in pointe shoes Vetrone said, “But this way we know if the chickens already have West Nile.”, The chickens, for the most part, are well-taken care of: they are in a tree-shaded corner, get regular food and water, and have a place to lay eggs – a perk of the job, if you get to the eggs in time, Morales said..
“I’ve taken a few,” he said. “But if you don’t check on them frequently, they’ll eat the eggs.”. The chickens get their blood drawn every two weeks and sent for testing; a positive test means West Nile-infected mosquitoes are in the area. That system of surveillance and prevention, however, may soon break down. And it’s all thanks to “aedes aegypti” – better known as the Zika mosquito. This mosquito – which carries dengue fever and Zika, the disease that can be sexually transmitted and causes deformities in babies if contracted during pregnancy – was first detected in Southern California in 2014.
No local transmissions of Zika have yet been reported in California, health officials say; how to use lambswool in pointe shoes unfortunately, hundreds of people have traveled to South America and come back with the virus, So it’s only a matter of time, those officials say, before a mosquito here picks up Zika and spreads it, “It’s an inevitability,” Sun said, And the Zika mosquitoes are adept at circumventing standard tracking and prevention methods, For one, they don’t need stagnate water to lay eggs, simply a spot they know will get water; eggs have even been found on discarded candy wrappers..
They are also aggressive – hunting all day, rather than at dawn and dusk. And they typically don’t bite birds: their main targets are humans. “Zika mosquitoes are prolific biters,” Van Dyke said. “The game has really changed.”. But, Kluh said, chickens remain a valuable tool. END OF WATCH. After each chicken was tagged and put in the coop, Morales and Vetrone closed up the truck – one final batch of chickens in the back – and got ready to leave Long Beach and head to Whittier Narrows, in El Monte.
Kluh, who has studied mosquitoes for decades and is viewed by colleagues throughout the region as a superb researcher, stood nearby, talking up the need for sentinel chickens as part of a comprehensive toolkit, West Nile is still the biggest threat, she said – and besides, researchers can’t rely on humans, “Humans for us how to use lambswool in pointe shoes are unreliable for surveillance,” she said, “Someone might live in Van Nuys and go to a barbecue in Burbank, where he gets bit, But he’ll get sick in Van Nuys and the infection will be reported in Van Nuys.”..