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First Bird of the Year Tests Positive For West Nile Virus

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County Vector Control officials announced today that a dead American crow found in El Cajon has tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first case of West Nile to be detected this year. 

“As we enter the summer season, this is a good reminder that West Nile virus is here and it is preventable,” said Jack Miller, Director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “We want to remind residents of the potential health risks that exist and to take personal precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites.”

There are several steps you can take to prevent West Nile virus:

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, 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:  Backyard water sources are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents should dump or remove anything that can hold water, such as 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: To report green swimming pools, dead crows, jays, ravens and birds of prey, please call County Vector Control at 858-694-2888. For more information about West Nile virus or locations for free mosquito fish, visit www.SDFightTheBite.com.