A dead crow found Aug. 26 in the Valencia Northbridge tract was confirmed this week to have died from West Nile Virus, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.
It is the first time this year a bird died from the virus in the Santa Clarita Valley, and the second occurrence of the virus in Valencia. A mosquito sample collected in Valencia July 22 tested positive, an official said.
Last week, three mosquito samples tested positive for the virus in Newhall and Canyon Country – also firsts for the year in those communities.
Agency spokeswoman Crystal Brown said the dead American crow was found in the 27000 block of Benten Court, a cul-de-sac near Hillsborough Parkway.
“The statistics show that the virus is still active and a threat throughout all of greater Los Angeles County,” an agency statement said.
It seems the carrier mosquitoes don’t know summer vacation is over.
“Children are back in school but mosquitoes are still out enjoying the warm weather,” it said.
The past week, 20 birds died from the virus throughout Los Angeles County and 40 positive mosquito samples were collected. No new positive mosquito samples were collected from the Santa Clarita Valley.
Brown said agency officials will collect dead birds if they spot them,. Residents can call 1-877-WNV-BIRD to report a dead bird and it will be tested.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile Virus is a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. It is typically transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.
About one in 150 infected people will display serious symptoms including high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent, according to the CDC.
About 20 percent of infected people will display milder symptoms, and most infected people won’t display symptoms at all, the CDC says.
Since there is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus infection, prevention is the best antidote. Vector Control recommends the “three D’s” of West Nile Virus prevention:
1. Dump/Drain: Eliminate standing water on your property because that’s where mosquitoes breed.
2. Dusk/Dawn: Avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.
3. Defend: Wear insect repellent containing EPA-registered ingredients – such as DEET, IR3535, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus – and long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors. Use properly fitted screens free from tears on windows and doors around your home to keep mosquitoes out.
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