SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif- Test results are back for a dead bird that was found in San Luis Obispo. According to the state department of health, the bird tested positive for West Nile.
This is the first confirmation of West Nile Virus activity in San Luis Obispo County for 2012, said the health department.
Since the beginning of the year there have been 34 human cases of West Nile. Only one person has died from the virus. Throughout the United States, a total of 1118 human cases have been reported to the CDC, the highest number of cases reported through the third week of August since 1999, reports the health department.
"Late summer is the peak season for West Nile Virus" said Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer for San Luis Obispo County. "It is important to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites by eliminating mosquito habitat around your home, avoiding mosquitos, and wearing appropriate clothing with mosquito repellant as necessary".
How do people get West Nile?
West Nile Virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds and can then transmit the virus to other animals and humans.
What are the symptoms?
According to the health department, approximately 80 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms. For those persons who do develop illness, they usually begin experiencing symptoms from 5 to 15 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, while a small number may develop severe illness.
To reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes:
To reduce mosquito breeding areas:
To report dead birds or squirrels, call the California State dead bird helpline at 1-877-968-2473. For more information, go to http://westnile.ca.gov or http://cdc.gov/westnile/. To fill out an online report of a dead bird or squirrel, go to http://westnile.ca.gov.