West Nile Positive Bird Found in Auburn

Virus activity spreads east.

ROSEVILLE, Calif., – A second dead bird in Placer County to test positive this year for West Nile virus has been found in Auburn. The bird was a western scrub jay, a common bird in the western states.

“This could be an indication that West Nile virus activity is increasing in the foothills area,” said Joel

Buettner, General Manager of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District. Buettner reports a decrease in mosquitoes in the surveillance traps along the western Placer County border. This comes on heels of significant mosquito control efforts made by the District in the past week. However, he warns that even though mosquito numbers are low in some areas, West Nile virus is still circulating in Placer County. This new dead bird shows an expanded area of West Nile virus activity. Buettner states that the District has increased surveillance in the area where the bird was found to see if local mosquitoes are also infected.

“This long weekend may signify the end of summer, but as long as temperatures remain warm, we are likely to see more dead birds and infected mosquitoes, which are indicators of continued risk from West Nile virus” states Buettner. While residents are enjoying outdoor activities this weekend, the District urges the use of an effective insect repellent. Meanwhile, the District will continue surveillance and treatment efforts to decrease the risk of exposure to the virus and protect public health.

For more information on recommended repellents, visit www.placermosquito.org. 2011 Placer County West Nile virus activity update: 2 dead birds, 0 sentinel chickens, 24 mosquito samples, and 0 humans have tested positive for West Nile Virus to date.

Contact: Ada Barros, Public Information Officer,  (916) 343-000

West Nile Virus Detected in Auburn Area

Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District urges residents to wear repellent
and avoid times of high mosquito activity

ROSEVILLE, CA – Three new West Nile Virus positive mosquito samples were reported in Auburn near Ophir Road and in the Newcastle area yesterday. This brings the total to four positive mosquito samples and three positive dead birds in Placer County so far this season.

Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District technicians will be increasing inspections of standing water sources that may support larval mosquitoes, and making appropriate larvicide and biological control treatments in this area. Due to low mosquito populations numbers and cooler average temperatures recently, no adult mosquito spraying is planned at the present time.

The District uses early detection and mosquito control to reduce the numbers of infected mosquitoes that might bite someone and make them sick. “West Nile Virus is here to stay, and seasonal local areas of West Nile Virus activity are to be expected” said Joel Buettner, District Manager, “it is important that we respond to areas of West Nile Virus activity as early as possible to have the best chance of reducing risk of disease transmission in the community”.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, and can result in serious illness, disability and death in some cases. Six human cases of West Nile Virus were reported in 2008 in Placer County. No human cases have been reported yet in 2009; however human cases tend to be reported later in the season due to the time lag between a person being bitten, getting sick, and a positive diagnosis being made and reported by a healthcare provider.

District officials urge the public to take additional measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites especially during the hours around dawn and dusk. Wearing long sleeves and pants and using a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus will help limit the risk of getting West Nile Virus.

The District also encourages the public to continue to report dead birds to the State Dead Bird Hotline at 1-877-968-2473 (1-877-WNV-BIRD). District staff will make every effort to pick up reported dead birds that are suitable for West Nile Virus testing.

For more information please call the District at 1-888-768-2343 or visit placermosquito.org.

Contact: Joel Buettner, General Manager (916) 380-5440.