First Bay Area case of West Nile virus detected in bird

OAKLAND (KRON) — The first case of the West Nile Virus in the Bay Area has been detected for this year.

A bird found dead in Oakland has tested positive for the virus.

Alameda County Officials say the West Nile virus is endemic to the area.

The officials say standing water including catchbasins, storm drain systems, and swimming pools continue to be a mosquito breeding issue.

The county asks that anyone who has an unmaintained swimming pool to inform the county so the proper treatment can be made.

“West Nile virus is endemic to Alameda County,” Laboratory Director Eric Haas-Stapleton, PhD said. “We will continue to eliminate mosquitoes that spread the virus, but we need the public to help by reducing mosquito breeding sites. Dump and drain or tightly cover containers that have standing water to reduce mosquitoes around your house and workplace.”

As of July 14, California has had 71 dead birds, 17 sentinel chickens, 681 mosquito samples, and 4 humans test positive for West Nile virus.

That number is higher than this time last year.

RESOURCES:

Reduce the risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:

• DUMP/DRAIN standing water on your property because that is where mosquitoes develop.
• DAWN/DUSK is when mosquito activity peaks, limit outdoor activities during this time.
• DEFEND yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and apply insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of lemon eucalyptus.
• DOOR/window screens should be in good repair with no tears or holes.

Here is more information from the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District:

West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  There is no cure for West Nile virus.  Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, or rash.  Less than one percent will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.  Adults over 50 years old and people with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of serious complications.  Anyone who develops symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

Horses are very susceptible to West Nile virus and vaccines are available.  Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarians regarding timely vaccinations.

For information about mosquitoes, West Nile virus, or to request any of the District services visit www.mosquitoes.org or call (510) 783-7744. Residents can also request mosquitofish for their fish ponds, horse troughs, or neglected swimming pools at the the District office located in Hayward at 23187 Connecticut St.  For information concerning West Nile virus symptoms, prevention or testing please contact the Alameda County Public Health Department at (510) 267-8001.

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