SAN DIEGO–A dead American crow found in La Jolla has tested positive for West Nile virus, San Diego County vector control officials said Tuesday.
Although summer-like temperatures have been dropping and San Diego County’s warm-weather West Nile virus season seems to be ending, County environmental health officials urged people to be careful and protect themselves from mosquitoes that can spread the potentially-deadly disease.
“This is a good reminder that West Nile virus is here, but that it can be prevented” said Jack Miller, Director of the County Department of Environmental Health. ”We want to remind people that they can take some simple steps to protect themselves.”
Miller said residents should remember the phrase “Protect, Prevent, Report.”
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites by staying inside when mosquitoes are most active and by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors, especially at dawn or dusk. Use insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR 3535 when you are outdoors. Keep screens on doors and windows and make sure the screens are in good condition.
Prevent Mosquito Breeding by dumping out or removing backyard water sources that can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, suchas: plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys, old spare tires and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as unused swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.
Report Dead Birds and Green Swimming Pools by calling County Vector Control at (858) 694-2888 to report green swimming pools, dead crows, jays, ravens and birds of prey.
West Nile virus cases reached epidemic proportions across the U.S. this year, although San Diego County has remained largely untouched. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 4,725 people have gotten West Nile virus in 2012 and that 219 people have died, including 15 people in California. In August, a 19-year-old Escondido man became San Diego County’s first human case of West Nile virus since 2009. But the man never became ill; the virus was detected during a routine blood screening test done when he donated blood in late July. The crow found in La Jolla was the first bird detected with the virus in San Diego County this year.
For more information about West Nile virus, or to find locations to get free mosquito fish visit www.SDFightTheBite.com