While this year's West Nile virus season has been quieter than previous years, the virus has been spreading in the region, including in Sacramento County, which reported five dead birds and seven mosquito samples testing positive this week, according to Gary Goodman, vector control district manager. The illness can cause overwhelming fatigue, bad muscle aches and headaches, according to doctors, and people who survive severe cases of the illness report ongoing problems with fatigue and neurological problems. It is the most common mosquito- or tick-borne viral in the USA, not the most common mosquito- or tick-borne illness overall.
"With the warmer temperatures, we've seen recently West Nile virus activity continues to increase", Goodman said.
West Nile Virus has been detected in a Star-area mosquito pool.
The Health Department suggested everyone who lives and works in Shelby County to protect themselves against mosquito bites and take measures to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the county.
The California Department of Public Health reported that one person has died from the disease in Imperial County.
West Nile virus activity became widespread enough in Davis past year that officials with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District briefly considered aerial insecticide spraying over the city in mid-August. Unusual clusters of dead birds can be reported to the BC Interagency Wild Bird Mortality Investigation at 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).
Haught also encourages residents to drain standing water and fix door and window screens with holes.
When mosquito activity rises to a level considered risky for public health, Sacramento-Yolo mosquito district officials have conducted aerial spraying in the past. Visit the eNotification subscription page to sign up and choose the West Nile category to receive notification when Local Spraying Alerts are issued.
It bites throughout the day, not just at dawn and dusk like the Culex mosquitoes usually do. Keep them outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors. Use mosquito repellent, district officials said, and be mindful that you may need to apply more over the course of an evening. Health care providers can only treat the symptoms to help patients feel better and possibly recover more quickly.