Lakeside,Calif- A dead crow found near Lakeside tested positive for
West Nile virus, the first local case of the disease this year, county
officials said today.
County officials said they had taken aggressive steps in recent years
tocontrol mosquitoes, which can spread the disease that is spread
throughfeeding on an infected bird or other animal then a person.
Two local residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus in the past
— one who, like most who become infected, did not become ill; and
the other, who was infected while visiting Imperial County, officials said.
Authorities said last year was one of the worst on record for West Nile
virus across the nation, with more than 5,000 people sickened and 286 deaths.
Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or
swollen glands. In rare cases, people can suffer potentially
life-threatening neurologic complications.
San Diego County residents were reminded to protect themselves against
the disease following the discovery of the infected crow.
“This is a good reminder that West Nile virus is here, but also that
people can protect themselves by taking some
simple precautions,” San Diego County Department of Environmental Health
Director Jack Miller said.
People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by staying indoors
when the insects are most active and by wearing long
sleeves and pants around dawn or dusk, by using insect repellants and by
keeping screens on doors and windows.
Mosquito breeding can be
prevented by emptying water sources, like plant
saucers, rain gutters, buckets, wheelbarrows and children’s toys. Mosquito
fish can be used in swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs,
Dead birds and green swimming pools should be reported to the county’s
Vector Control at (858) 694-2888.