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Santa Barbara County Mounts Aggressive Attack on Zika Virus

Two California women gave birth to infants with Zika Virus-related abnormalities causing health officials concern. Both women got infected when they traveled abroad.

Currently, the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquito species carry the virus, but haven’t appeared in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties. However, Zika was brought to 12 counties in the state from people who traveled to Zika-infected regions.

“The big news today is the state announced that two infants were born with birth defects to mothers who were infected by Zika,” said Doctor Charity Dean, health officer for Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

Health officials are researching the virus which currently does not have vaccination or treatment options.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is working with Mosquito and Vector Control District to combat the virus.

Vector control technicians patrol areas with standing water throughtout the county to control the mosquito population.

“When the mosquito larvae in the water eat the protein, it destroys their digestive system and they die,” said Karen Schultz, a vector control technician.

Schultz and three other technicians visit areas with standing water twice each month. Each inspection gets reported and submitted.

Residents are asked to clean the gutters and areas with standing water around their home to control the mosquito population.

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