First Confirmed Case of West Nile Found in San Mateo County This Year

A dead bird collected June 4 in San Carlos tested positive for the virus, vector control officials announced this week.

By Bay City News Service:
A dead bird found in San Carlos has tested positive for West Nile virus, making it the first confirmed case of the disease in San Mateo County this year, according to the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Between 2004 and 2013, 64 birds and 16 squirrels tested positive for West Nile virus in San Mateo County, according to District Manager Robert Gay.

West Nile virus has now been detected in 13 counties statewide. Birds are the primary hosts for West Nile virus, but the virus can also infect humans, horses and other animals, Gay said.

The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can't be passed from person to person, Gay said.

"West Nile virus activity may increase as we head into the summer months, and it is important for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites," Gay said in a news release.

Residents can protect themselves from West Nile virus by preventing mosquito breeding and mosquito bites, Gay said.  That means eliminating all sources of standing water, where mosquitoes breed, including flowerpots, rain gutters and pet bowls.

Residents should make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting insect screens and wear insect repellant and proper clothing during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active, Gay said.

"Our vector control technicians are continuously inspecting standing water and treating sources of mosquito breeding throughout the county," Gay said in a news release.

The district will be setting mosquito traps in the area where the dead bird was found to collect adult mosquitoes for West Nile virus testing, Gay said.

Robert Riechel June 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM
Thanks Renee


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