Health officials report presence of West Nile virus

West Nile virus found in mosquito sample in Sycamore

"The sentinel chicken sampled that tested positive for (the virus) is the first detection of the virus in Merced County in over 40 years", said Rhiannon Jones, general manager of the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District.

Of the 22 people who were sickened countywide, 19 were hospitalized, according to a recent advisory from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

So far this year, 29 OH counties have reported West Nile virus found in mosquitoes collected through a statewide surveillance. To date there have been 22 reported human cases of West Nile Virus infection throughout the state, officials reported.

While most people infected by the virus won't notice any symptoms, some people may experience flu-like symptoms or worse.

"We don't want people to be overly concerned but we want them to avoid mosquito bites", Lalonde said. In 2015, all but 7 states and Puerto Rico reported human cases of West Nile, and there were 2,175 cases across the United States. "Step up the trapping, the disease monitoring, the surveillance of the adult mosquitoes, because anytime, anywhere, if you get a human case that shows that you're having a complete bird to mosquito to human transmission". "Now is the time to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites".

As The Prowers Journal reports, a horse in Larimer County was diagnosed with the virus earlier this month.

Unneeded standing water where mosquitoes can breed should also be drained. He is recovering from mild illness, however, he did not require hospitalization.

Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent and follow the label directions.

· Be sure door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good fix.

Wear long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes and socks when outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

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