Report confirms Surge in Cases of West Nile Virus among County Birds

Fresh reports concerning the menace caused by the West Nile virus reveal that as many as 32 new West Nile-positive dead birds were found in California in the past few days, including five from neighboring Yolo County and one from Sutter.

It was held that West Nile virus activity was more widespread in 2015 than in past years. In fact, the numbers of 33 counties whose birds tested positive for the virus was four more than reported this time last year and was even above the five-year average of 22. Until date, as many as 497 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus, which exceeds the five-year average of 330.

It was found that 35 percent of the mosquitoes that were trapped and shipped to UC Davis Lab for testing two days earlier, tested positive for West Nile virus. This was the highest percentage the district had seen in recent years.

The researchers held that this West Nile Virus was transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. Though the chances of causing serious illness were low, at most one percent of the people could develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. However, those with diabetes and/or hypertension and greater than 50 years of age, were more prone to contracting serious illness.

To control the transmission of the virus, the study recommended planting mosquito fish in rice fields and other water sources where possible and applying larvacide products to mosquito breeding sources before the mosquito hatches out in to an adult mosquito.