California 06/19/10 modbee.com: by Carol Reiter – The city of Merced has recorded its first West Nile virus-positive bird of the season. Allan Inman, manager-entomologist for the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District, said a dead mockingbird was found in North Merced, near Vernal Avenue and El Portal Drive. “Mockingbirds are breeding now, not migrating, so this is a local bird,” Inman said. And now the UC Davis Center for Vector-borne Diseases can distinguish between a bird with an acute case of West Nile and one with a chronic case. “This is an acute case, which means the bird was recently infected,” Inman said. Mockingbirds are common in the Merced area. They are robin-sized gray birds, with white underneath and on their wings. They have a gurgling type of song with a lot of variation, and are well-known for imitating the sounds of other birds, along with tractors, cars, sirens and other objects. The dead bird, which was turned in by a member of the public, was found near Black Rascal Creek, Inman said. “The creek areas — Black Rascal, Bear Creek and Fahrens Creek — have been hotbeds of West Nile in the past,” Inman said. The reason the creek areas are infested is because that’s where birds often roost at night, and mosquitoes from the water take advantage of the sleeping birds to sip some dinner. Those people most at risk include those who may use the creek bike paths to either bike or walk, especially at dusk, Inman said.
California 06/18/10 dailydemocrat.com: The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District received preliminary confirmation today that an American Crow has tested positive for West Nile virus. The bird, which was found in east Sacramento, is the first indication of the virus in 2010. “Finding this bird is significant because it means that the virus is present in our area” said David Brown, district manager. “Dead birds provide an early indication of where positive mosquito samples may also be found and where human cases may develop later in the season.” Late rains and mild temperatures had delayed the beginning of the mosquito and West Nile virus season, however, this first positive bird is a clear warning sign that the virus continues to be active, according to Luz Maria Rodriguez, the district’s public information officer.
California 06/18/10 news10.com: by Dave Marquis – Elk Grove – In the first sign of West Nile virus in the Sacramento area this season, health authorities confirmed Thursday that a dead bird found in East Sacramento was infected. An American crow tested positive, according to Dave Brown, Manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. “Dead birds provide an early indication of where positive mosquito samples may also be found and where human cases may develop later in the season,” Brown said. Late rains and milder temperatures delayed the beginning of the mosquito and West Nile virus season, Brown said. He said the district will increase its mosquito trapping and surveillance in the area to find sources where the mosquitos may be breeding. Nine other counties have already reported positive dead birds and mosquito samples. According to the district, last year was a mild season, with only four deaths and 112 human cases reported in California. “We still have a lot of vacant homes that probably have a lot of standing water from the late rains so those are probably producing mosquitos,” said district spokesperson Luz Maria Rodriguez. “Avoid dawn and dusk if you’re going to be outside during those times and they need to either dress appropriately or wear a good mosquito repellent that will keep them from being bitten.” Eighty percent of the population who contract West Nile, never even know they have it. About 20 percent develop a high fever for a few days. About one in 150 get encephalitis or meningitis, which can be deadly.
Florida 06/18/10 wjhg.com: There has been increased mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Walton County. Several of the Health Department’s sentinel chicken flocks have tested positive for West Nile Virus. The risk of transmission may be increased. Walton County Mosquito Control, South Walton Mosquito Control and the health department continue surveillance and prevention efforts and encourage everyone to take basic precautions to help limit exposure by following the department of health recommendations.