October 20, 2017
PLACERVILLE, CAlif. October 20, 2017 – El Dorado County health officials received confirmation last week that a bird found in the Garden Valley area of El Dorado County has tested positive for West Nile virus, the second for 2017. The bird, an Acorn Woodpecker, was tested on September 29th. So far this year, West Nile virus activity in dead birds has been reported in 38 California counties with a total of 463 dead birds, including neighboring Sacramento (86 birds) and Placer (3 birds) counties.
Confirmation of the West Nile virus positive bird means the virus is circulating between birds and mosquitoes and there is heightened risk of infection in humans. It’s important to take precautions. Last year, four (4) West Nile virus positive birds were identified in El Dorado County on the western slope and one human case reported. For 2017, no human cases of West Nile virus have been reported for El Dorado County.
West Nile virus can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get the virus when they feed on infected birds. The illness is not spread from person-to-person. While most people infected with the virus show no symptoms, some may have high fever, severe headache, tiredness and/or a stiff neck that can last several days to several weeks. The most serious cases of West Nile virus infection can lead to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal.