June 17, 2008
County Vector Control officials announced today that an additional ten dead birds tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) this week, bringing this year’s total to 39 positive birds. The nine American crows and one barn owl were found in Bonsall, Fallbrook, Vista, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Cardiff, Kearny Mesa, and Bonita.
“We are finding more evidence of the virus in urban areas rather than rural and mountain areas,” said Gary Erbeck, Director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “West Nile virus is a preventable disease. You should protect yourself by using insect repellent as well as inspect your backyard each week for mosquito breeding areas.”
Prevent Mosquito Breeding
Backyard water sources are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents should dump or remove anything that can hold water, such as potted plants and 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.
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
You can protect yourself from the virus 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 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus when you are outdoors. Keep screens on doors and windows and make sure the screens are in good condition.
Report Mosquito Breeding and Dead Birds
County Vector Control staff continues to pick up and test dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks and owls that are reported. Call Vector Control for instructions on how to deal with the bird. Dead birds do not need to be reported if: they have been dead more than 24 hours; have been hit by a car, shot, or killed by animals; are covered with ants or flies; have a foul odor; or their bodies are not intact.
To report dead birds or mosquito breeding areas, such as inoperative swimming pools or standing water, please call County Vector Control at 858-694-2888. For more information about West Nile virus, call 1-888-551-INFO (4636) or visit www.SDFightTheBite.com.