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Monday, October 3, 2022

Nile virus in St. Matthew's bird

Peninsula 360 Press.

Wednesday, September 30. For the first time this year, the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District has detected West Nile virus in a dead bird for the first time this year.

A bird -- specifically an American crow -- was tested south of San Francisco earlier this week, the control district said Wednesday.

This the first case of the virus found in San Mateo County since 2018. And while reports of dead birds indicate the presence of the virus, the risk to humans remains low.

West Nile virus primarily affects birds, but be warned that both humans, horses and other animals can carry the virus through the bites of an infected mosquito, the route of transmission of the virus. It is important to note that West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person to person.

The county's vector control district called on the public to report newly dead birds to the California West Nile Virus Hotline at www.westnile.ca.gov or by calling (877) WNV-BIRD.

The population can reduce the risk of infection by preventing mosquitoes from hatching and thus biting.

Because mosquitoes hatch in puddles of water, the district recommends draining and eliminating outdoor water sources on your property - including flower pots, old car tires, clogged gutters and pet water bowls.

Residents should wear protective clothing to protect them from bites, or use mosquito repellent if they stay outdoors at night and in the hours before dawn, as it is at these points in the daytime that mosquitoes that transmit the virus tend to bite.

Doors and windows should have undamaged screens to keep them out. Mosquito repellent containing ingredients such as DEET, IR3535, Icaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus can serve as repellents.

The district will do its part by detecting mosquito breeding sites and collecting samples for testing in areas where the number of dead birds is elevated.

For assistance, individuals may contact the district at (650) 344-8592 or www.smcmvcd.org for more information.

West Nile virus has also been identified in Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties this year.

[With information from BNC]

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