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08 August 2017, 07:53 | Darrell Baldwin
Mosquito in action
A bird has tested positive for West Nile Virus in Santa Clara County, and it is the first such case of 2017, health officials said.
The Southern Seven Health Department reports the sample was collected July 17th. Positive samples were also collected from the 200 block of Highland Drive and the 600 block of Holfords Prairie Road.
They are the 10th, 11th and 12th positive West Nile Virus mosquito samples in Lewisville this year. The insecticide being used is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and poses minimal risk to humans, pets and the environment.
Officials will now test mosquitoes for the virus in areas where the dead bird was found.
The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus, Zika virus or other mosquito-borne disease is to prevent them from biting.
The Department of Health Services has monitored the spread of West Nile virus since 2001 among wild birds, horses, mosquitoes and people.
No human cases have been found in Santa Clara County this year.
Cases of the virus peak in late summer and early fall, according to the health department. About 80-100 cases are reported nationwide each year. "Initial symptoms in those who become ill include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness". Mills said the virus is more typically found in the Fayette, Raleigh and Nicholas county areas. Culex species mosquitoes which are carriers of West Nile virus bite primarily from dusk through dawn. While most people who are infected develop no symptoms, less than 1 percent of people may develop a serious neurological illness.
The health department urges people who are outdoors from dawn till dusk to reduce exposure by wearing long trousers, long-sleeve shirts, shoes, and socks.
Most people (8 out of 10) infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.
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