Health & Medicine

Dead crow found in Sacramento County tests positive for West Nile virus

How to stay safe from mosquitoes

Zika and West Nile viruses are both transmitted by mosquitoes. Officials from public health and from Sacramento-Yolo vector control explain how to protect yourself from bites.
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Zika and West Nile viruses are both transmitted by mosquitoes. Officials from public health and from Sacramento-Yolo vector control explain how to protect yourself from bites.

An American crow found in Sacramento County’s Rosemont area has tested positive for West Nile virus, an early warning sign of this year’s virus activity, according to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

“It confirms that the virus is present, provides a good indication of where we may find positive mosquito samples and where human cases may develop later in the season,” Gary Goodman, district manager, said in a written statement.

Higher than normal temperatures for this time of year as well as stagnant water left by heavy rains during the winter are expected to result in a busy mosquito season, according to a district news release. Nine other counties statewide have reported West Nile virus activity to date, including one human case.

The public is encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at 877-968-2473. Bird species such as crows, jays and magpies are particularly susceptible to the virus.

In response to the detected West Nile virus activity, the district will increase mosquito trapping and surveillance in the area to find where mosquitoes may be breeding.

Residents can help avoid mosquito bites and limit West Nile virus activity by draining standing water that may produce mosquitoes, avoiding being outdoors at dawn or dusk, wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors and using an effective insect repellent. People also are advised to make sure door and window screens are in good condition.

Residents may go to www.FIGHTtheBITE.net to subscribe to mailing lists to receive email notifications of planned mosquito treatments by ZIP code. To sign up, go the “Spray Notifications” on the website.

To report a neglected swimming pools or other mosquito problems, call 800-429-1022, or fill out a service request online at http://www.fightthebite.net/.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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