County confirms first instance of West Nile virus in 2019

From Fox 5
March 15, 2019

SAN DIEGO — County officials confirmed Friday that they’ve identified the year’s first instance of West Nile virus after a Cooper’s hawk tested positive.

Officials with the county’s Vector Control Program only found small amounts of the virus in the hawk’s tissues, leading them to believe it was an old infection. Last year, only one county resident contracted West Nile virus and ultimately survived, but the virus has spread to as many as 44 residents as recently as 2015. Six people died due to the virus that year.

The virus is usually carried by birds, but mosquitoes can transmit it to other animals, including humans, by biting them. Symptoms of West Nile can include headache, fever, nausea, skin rash or swollen glands, according to Vector Control officials. Native and invasive mosquito species can also carry viruses like dengue and Zika.

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