San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District (District) recently detected West Nile Virus (WNV) in a dead crow collected in the Tracy area, zip code 95376. This is the earliest find of WNV activity in San Joaquin County since it was detected in 2004.
In 2013, the first detection of WNV was found May 20 in mosquitoes.
“Finding the first WNV positive bird is significant because it means that the virus is present in our area,” said Aaron Devencenzi, Public Information Officer with the District.
“The District is increasing surveillance and mosquito control activities throughout the area. This is the time of year to begin vigilantly removing standing water on individual’s property. Examples where water collects are: buckets, barrels, wheelbarrows, tires and any other containers. Checking and cleaning rain gutters along with repairing broken faucets and sprinklers are also important. Please do your part in preventing mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry,” said Devencenzi.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds to the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) website at www.westnile.ca.gov. On April 15, the CDPH hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) will be open for reporting dead birds by phone. Some species of birds such as crows, jays and magpies are very susceptible to the virus and are more likely to die from the infection. Though not all birds that are reported will be picked up and tested, the reports provide valuable information and assist with mosquito surveillance and control efforts that help protect public health. Birds are hosts for WNV and mosquitoes transmit the virus by biting an infected bird and then biting a person or other animal.
In 2013 for San Joaquin County, there were eight human cases of West Nile Virus, along with positive tests for 36 dead birds and 163 mosquito samples.
For additional information, to report a neglected swimming pool, or other mosquito problems, call (209) 982-4675 or 1-800-300-4675 or fill out a service request online at www.sjmosquito.org.