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Mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile virus in Butte County

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PALERMO, Calif. - According to the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District, a mosquito pool in an area of north Honcut south Palermo has tested positive with the West Nile Virus.

Officials said with increasing mosquito populations and the detection of WNV within Butte County, the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District urges residents to take all precautions necessary to drain any and all un-needed standing water, report any suspected mosquito-breeding sites to the District, and protect themselves from the bites of mosquitoes.

This is the first positive indicator of WNV in the county for 2017. WNV is active throughout the State of California. WNV has been identified in Butte County every year since its arrival in 2004. Since 2004, 229 residents have been infected with the virus, eight of which lost their lives.

The virus is usually prevalent from May through October when mosquitoes are most abundant. Mosquitoes contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread the virus when the mosquitoes seek other hosts to bite.

In addition to birds and humans, horses are also affected by WNV due to the high mortality rate of horses that contract the disease, owners are encouraged to make sure their horses are kept current with their WNV vaccinations.

Individuals can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne disease by following these prevention tips:

Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are active, especially at dusk and dawn If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear long pants, and long-sleeved shirts, socks and shoes Before going outdoors, apply insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to label instructions Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes Eliminate all standing water on your property that can support mosquito-breeding Report standing water to Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District Contact Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live, work, and/or play

The public is encouraged to become part of the state's monitoring effort for WNV by reporting any dead birds that may have been dead for less than 48 hours. Please call 1-877-968-2473 to report dead birds that may be accepted for testing, or visit the CDHS website, www.westnile.ca.gov. Individuals should take note of the location and condition of the bird before calling for further instructions. While there is no evidence that people can get the virus from handling live or dead birds, individuals should not attempt to catch or handle the birds.

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