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West Nile bird found in SCV

Health: Infected carcass is the second discovered in Stevenson Ranch this year

Posted: July 16, 2010 9:50 p.m.
Updated: July 17, 2010 4:55 a.m.

A second dead bird found in Stevenson Ranch has tested positive for the West Nile virus this year.

The bird is the fourth in Los Angeles County to be found this year.

The bird, along with another bird in La Mirada, was collected by Los Angeles County Public Health veterinarians.

“West Nile virus is endemic to California and signs of activity remind us all that we need to follow simple precautionary measures to help prevent disease transmission,” said Crystal Brown, a spokeswoman for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

Reporting dead birds to the California Department of Public Health helps with surveillance of the virus, which infected 112 Californians last year, killing four.

One in five infected people will show symptoms, which include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and skin rash. Symptoms can last months, and one in 150 people infected will be hospitalized. A healthy person’s immune system will be able to fight off the disease, officials said. Children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible.

Mosquitoes transmit the disease through biting. They flourish in standing water and hot weather.

Since there’s no cure for the virus, prevention is the key: remove standing water from unused swimming pools, backyard containers and street gutters.

Vector control can be reached at (888) WNV-BIRD.


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