First Bird Tests Positive in 2014 for West Nile Virus in Napa County

Report dead birds, squirrels and protect yourself by practicing the 3 Ds.

News from the Napa County Public Health Division:

The Napa County Mosquito Abatement District confirmed the first dead bird positive for West Nile virus on July 10.

The bird was an American Crow collected in the City of Napa on July 2.

Napa County residents are encouraged to report all dead birds and dead tree squirrels on the website http://westnile.ca.gov/ or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473). 

"This first dead bird testing positive for West Nile virus reminds us that we must take precautions to protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites," said Dr. Karen Smith, Napa County Public Health Officer.

"We’ve been seeing increased West Nile virus activity in the region, and it has started earlier than previous years. West Nile virus is most active when we’re outside enjoying the summer weather. The good news is there are simple steps we can take to protect our health." 

WNV is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low.

Napa County Public Health recommends that individuals prevent exposure to mosquito bites and WNV by practicing the "Three Ds": 

1. DEFEND - Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions.
Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older. 

2. DAWN AND DUSK - Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes. 

3. DRAIN - Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. .

If a swimming pool is not being properly maintained, or for other mosquito problems contact the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District at (707) 553-9610. 

WNV Symptoms: 
• Serious symptoms in a few people: Less than one percent of individuals (about 1 in 150 people) infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. WNV infection can be fatal.
• Milder symptoms in some people: Up to 20 % of the people (about 1 in 5) who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms generally last for just a few days, although even previously healthy people have been sick for several weeks. 
• No symptoms in most people: Approximately 80% of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms. 

At-risk Groups: People 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications.

Recent data also indicate that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you or someone in your care may have symptoms of WNV. California's WNV website includes the latest information on WNV activity in the state.

Californians are encouraged to report all dead birds and dead tree squirrels on the website or by calling toll-free 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473). Go to http://westnile.ca.gov/ for more information. 

For local problems with mosquito control contact the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District at (707) 553-9610 and visit http://napamosquito.org/ for more information. 

Visit Napa County Public Health’s website http://countyofnapa.org/publichealth/wnvfaqs/ for more information on West Nile virus. 


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