Yikes! West Nile Virus Infected Bird Found in Weaverville Area
Trinity County Health and Human Services, Public Health Department has received its first confirmed report of a West Nile Virus infected bird. The bird was found in the Weaverville area and the specimen was tested at the California Department of Health Services Lab. As of August 5, 2015 West Nile Virus (WNV) activity has been detected in 36 of 58 counties in California.
There have been no confirmed human cases of WNV in Trinity County. Most individuals who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others may have mild to moderate symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and rash, headache, and body aches. Symptoms of West Nile neuro-invasive disease may include the above symptoms plus neck pain or stiffness, difficulty concentrating, vomiting, diarrhea, and sensitivity to light and weakness. The elderly and those with lowered immune systems are more susceptible to serious illness. Individuals who are ill should consult their health care provider.
- Individuals can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne diseases by taking these precautions.
- Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn or dusk.
- When outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Apply insect repellent according to label instructions
- Make sure that all doors and windows have tight-fitting screens
- Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes
- Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding
The public can assist in the extensive efforts to detect and monitor WNV by calling the WNV hotline if they find a crow, raven, magpie, jay, sparrow, finch, or hawk that has been dead for no more than 24 hours.
Birds play an important role in maintaining and spreading this virus. Mosquitoes acquire the virus from infected birds, and then transmit the virus to people. Evidence of the virus in dead birds is often the first indication that WNV has been introduced into a new region. Report dead birds to California Department of Health Services’ toll-free hotline: 1-877-WNV-BIRD or 1-877-968-2473 or the local Environmental Health Department at (530) 623-1459. More information on WNV can also be found at www.westnile.ca.gov. If your local business or organization would like a free supply of WNV prevention brochures please contact Trinity County Health & Human Services Public Health Department at (530) 623-8209.