Solano County reports first West Nile virus bird case this year

(KRON/BCN) — Solano County Monday reported its first case of West Nile virus in a bird this year.

An American crow in Fairfield tested positive in mid-April for the virus, which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes that feed on infected birds, Solano County Department of Health and Social Services officials said.

The virus also has been found in three other California counties this year, including Santa Clara County.

“This is the first time that we have detected West Nile virus in a bird as early as April in Solano County,” Solano County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Michael Stacey said in a statement.

There are no reported human cases in California so far this year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Preventative measures include avoiding being outdoors without a long-sleeved shirt and pants at dawn or dusk, wearing DEET insect repellant, draining standing water where mosquitoes breed and installing tight-fitting screens on doors and windows.

Four of five people with the virus have no symptoms. Some symptoms that can develop include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph glands. One in 150 people develop neurological disease, and in rare cases the virus is fatal, health officials said.

People 60 and older with certain medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and those with organ transplants are at greater risk of severe illness and complications.

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