Highest Levels of West Nile Virus Found in Shasta County Since 2007

The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMVCD) reports that mosquito-borne disease surveillance has detected the highest levels of West Nile virus (WNv) activity in this area since 2007. Although no human or horse cases have yet been reported, SMVCD has found evidence of WNv in eleven dead birds, eleven mosquito samples, one sentinel chicken flock and one dead tree squirrel. The finds have been widespread in an area from Cottonwood Creek to Bella Vista.

“Our integrated mosquito control strategies have enabled SMVCD to act both proactively and reactively to the continued high levels of mosquitoes and WNv surveillance information,” said Peter Bonkrude, District Manager. “Increased control of both larval and adult mosquitoes in areas of concern has been conducted to reduce the risk of transmission to the public throughout the District. Despite our best efforts, the continued high temperatures only highlight the need for people to take precautionary measures when spending time outside during peak mosquito activity periods.”

The District requests that residents check their properties for mosquito sources and report any neglected standing water, including neglected swimming pools. Residents can also report suspect dead birds to the District or to the California Dead Bird Hotline: (877) WNV-BIRD. According to John Albright, District Vector Ecologist, the District cannot test all dead birds for WNv; however, the District keeps records of all of the potential indicators of WNv and their locations to help direct surveillance and control activities.

Additionally, SMVCD staff urges residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites; reducing activity during the peak mosquito feeding times at dawn and dusk, wearing effective insect repellent, and staying behind screened windows and doors whenever possible. The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District advises the public to implement the 3 Ds of protection:

*Drain any standing water that may produce mosquitoes.
*Defend yourself and your home by using an effective insect repellent and dressing protectively when outside and making sure screens on doors and windows are in good condition.
*Contact the District for any additional help controlling mosquitoes around your home

2012 Shasta County West Nile virus activity update: 11 dead birds, 1 sentinel chicken, 11 mosquito samples, 1 tree squirrel and 0 humans or horses have tested positive for West Nile virus to date. Statewide virus activity update: 1,086 dead birds, 276 sentinel chickens, 2,080 mosquito samples, 11 horses and 92 humans have tested positive for West Nile virus to 9/11/2012.

For more information, contact the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District at (530) 365-3768 or www.shastamosquito.org

-from press release

Press Release

-from press release