Late West Nile season in Santa Clara County as first infected bird found – East Bay Times – California News

Late West Nile season in Santa Clara County as first infected bird found – East Bay Times – California News

SANTA CLARA — The West Nile Virus season in Santa Clara County is starting slowly this year, but officials warn that’s no reason to for residents to relax on the recurring health risk.

An infected crow was discovered Thursday in Santa Clara, the county’s first sign of the virus of the year.

“This year, we hare having a calm WNV season,” county Vector Control District manager Nayer Zahiri said in a statement Monday. “However, a late start can be followed by a spike of WNV activity. Residents should keep reporting dead birds and mosquito breeding sources, and taking measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

Statewide trends are reflecting the same tranquility: 115 infected birds have been confirmed so far this year, compared to 718 at the same point in 2016, according to the district.

The presence of infected birds serve as an “early warning system” for a given area, officials said. The Vector Control District plans to collect adult mosquitoes with traps in the area where the crow was discovered.

West Nile Virus typically causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms and in extreme cases can be fatal, particularly with the elderly whose immune systems are compromised. No human cases have been detected in Santa Clara County this year. Last year, the state reported 442 human cases with 19 fatalities.

Residents are asked to report fresh carcasses of birds to the California West Nile Virus Hotline at westnile.ca.gov or by phone at 877-WNV-BIRD. More information can be found at the county Vector Control District’s office at 408-918-4770, going online at 

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