July 19, 2013 - West Nile Virus activity has recently been detected in a dead bird in Nevada County. Public and Environmental Health Departments were notified by the California Department of Public Health of an American Crow from the Nevada City area that tested positive for the West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus is spread through mosquito bites. Efforts are being undertaken by the County's Mosquito Control Program to respond to the area where the bird was found.
This is the first bird to test positive in Nevada County for West Nile Virus in 2013. There have been no human or equine cases to date in Nevada County. In 2012, nationally, there were over 5,000 reported human infections with West Nile virus, the most since 2003. Fortunately, most people who get infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms. However, about 20% of infections lead to fever, headache, and body aches and about 1% of infections, especially in the elderly, can have severe neurologic effects like meningitis or paralysis.
Holly Whittaker, Nevada County epidemiologist, reminds residents "to take reasonable precautions to avoid mosquito bites." To reduce the risk of being infected with West Nile Virus residents are encouraged to:
- Remain indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active, or
- Wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn
- Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of eucalyptus, or IR3535 as active ingredients before going outdoors,
- Remove water standing for more than 3 days from bird baths, pet dishes, flower pots or neglected swimming pools.
For further information on West Nile Virus please see these resources:
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