Bird tests positive for West Nile Virus in first Santa Clara County case

SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — A bird has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Santa Clara County, and it is the first such case of 2017, health officials said.

The bird was found on Aug. 3 in the 95051 zip code.

Officials say 115 dead birds have been confirmed positive in California, compared to 718 at the same point last year.

“This year, we are having a calm WNV season,” District Manager Nayer Zahiri said. “However, a late start can be followed by a spike of WNV activity. Residents should keep reporting dead birds and mosquito breeding sources, and taking measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

Officials say the detection in crows and ravens acts as an early warning system.

“A bird that tests positive for WNV alerts health officials that the virus is present in an area. Once a positive dead bird is detected, SCCVCD raises its surveillance efforts to confirm if mosquitoes in the same area are infected with the virus,” officials said in a press release.

Officials will now test mosquitoes for the virus in areas where the dead bird was found.

West Nile Virus causes mild-to-severe flu symptoms. The virus is also potentially deadly in extreme cases.

The elderly are especially susceptible to West Nile Virus.

In 2016, there were 442 human cases, with 19 deaths.

No human cases have been found in Santa Clara County this year.

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