Sentinel chicken in Lake County tests positive for West Nile virus

From Lake County News
August 28, 2018

LAKEPORT, Calif. – County officials said that recent tests have confirmed new findings of West Nile virus in Lake County.

This week’s sentinel chicken testing showed that one of the birds from the Upper Lake flock tested positive for WNV. 

Earlier this month, four mosquito samples from Lake County tested positive for West Nile, as Lake County News has reported. The positive samples were collected in Lower Lake (1), Middletown (2), and Upper Lake (2), and all four were the same species, Culex tarsalis, also known as the western encephalitis mosquito.

“This is typically the peak of the West Nile virus season, and activity continues through September,” said Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District. “Mosquitoes are still biting, and it’s important for residents to dump out any water where the mosquitoes can develop. To control mosquitoes in ponds, water features, livestock water tanks, or pools and spas that are not being maintained, residents can pick up mosquito-eating fish for free from our office.”

“If you plan to be outside when mosquitoes are active, use insect repellent applied according the directions on the label and reapply as directed,” said Dr. Erin Gustafson, Lake County deputy health officer. 

Dr. Gustafson added, “When we see chickens becoming positive for West Nile virus, the conditions are right for transmission to humans. It is important for medical providers to have an increased awareness and test for West Nile virus when they have a suspicion.”

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