A Shasta County adult is the first person in Shasta County to be reported this season with probable West Nile Virus (WNV) this year according to Shasta County Public Health. They are recovering at home.
West Nile Virus is almost always transmitted to people from the bite of an infected mosquito and is not transmitted from person to person, or from horses or other animals to humans.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus can include high fever, severe headache, worsening confusion or stiff neck. If you have symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. Tell your doctor if you have had recent mosquito bites. It is important to note that 80% of people infected with West Nile Virus have no symptoms.
West Nile Virus has been found in all parts of Shasta County, so Shasta County residents are urged make effective mosquito repellant a part of their regular outdoor routine. The best way to avoid the virus is to prevent mosquito bites using the Four Ds:
- DRAIN standing water around the house weekly since it’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. This includes tires, cans, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
- DUSK & DAWN are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active, so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
- DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellants. Always follow label instructions carefully.
- DRESS in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.
Three other mosquito repellants besides DEET are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use on skin and clothing: Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and IR3535. Always follow instructions on containers carefully.
To help fight West Nile Virus in Shasta County:
Report significant mosquito problems to Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (serving limited areas of the greater Redding area) at 365-3768 or www.shastamosquito.org, the Burney Mosquito Abatement District (serving Burney Basin) at 335-2133, the Pine Grove Mosquito Abatement District (serving Fall River Valley) at 336-5740.
- Report recently dead birds to the state hotline at 877 WNV BIRD (877-968 2473) or visit the web site at www.westnile.ca.gov. Though not all birds can be picked up for testing, all calls help track the virus. Dead birds should be picked up with a plastic bag and not touched.
- Vaccinate your horses, because WNV mortality is high in unvaccinated horses. Vaccine must be given before the animal is exposed.
For more information about West Nile Virus, contact Shasta County Public Health at 225-5591 or visit www.shastahhsa.net.