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First Bird Tests Positive
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An American Crow found in the Tracy area of San Joaquin County has tested positive for West Nile Virus, WNV, the first sign of the virus activity in the county for 2008. The San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed that the crow tested positive.

"It is important that residents of San Joaquin County protect themselves from mosquito bites and to drain standing water from their property," said District Manager John Stroh.

In response to the detection of West Nile, District Information Officer Aaron Devencenzi said the District will expand surveillance and control of local mosquito populations on all private and public lands within San Joaquin County. Mosquito control activities include: making recommendations to property owners on methods to reduce mosquito breeding conditions; educating the public on mosquito prevention techniques, including the use of repellants; introducing mosquitofish to ponds, ditches, and other aquatic sites; and spraying areas where mosquitoes are found.

People can also reduce their own risk of WNV and other mosquito-transmitted diseases by taking these precautions:

• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding.

• Apply insect repellant containing the active ingredient DEET or Picaridin when outdoors, according to label instructions.

• Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk, and especially for the first two hours after sunset.

• When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and other protective clothing.

• Exclude mosquitoes from your home with tight fitting screens on doors and windows.

• Contact your veterinarian for information on vaccinating equine against WNV.

• Report significant mosquito infestations to San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District at 982-4675, 1-800-300-4675 or

• Report dead birds and tree squirrels to 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) or