YOLO COUNTY NEWS

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Bird tests positive for West Nile

By From page A8 | February 15, 2012

A house finch has tested positive for West Nile virus in Sacramento County, officials with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District report. This is the first bird to test positive in California and the first sign of West Nile virus activity for the 2012 season.

“Finding the first positive bird is significant because it means that the virus is present in our area” said David Brown, district manager. “With the very mild winter and the warm temperatures we’ve had so far, it’s not unusual to find a positive bird so early.”

Dead birds provide an early indication of where positive mosquito samples also may be found and where human cases may develop later in the season, he said.

Community members can report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hot line at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473). Birds are hosts for West Nile virus and mosquitoes transmit the virus by biting an infected bird and then biting a person or other animal.

The public also is reminded to drain after the rain.

“Please look around your yard and dump out water in any containers that might breed mosquitoes,” Brown said. “It only takes a few minutes, but it goes a long way in preventing mosquitoes later in the season.”

In 2011, 155 human WNV cases and eight deaths were reported in California.

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