As temperatures warm up, the West Nile virus season has begun. Based on recent test samples from multiple dead birds and mosquitoes, residents in both the Mother Lode and the central valley are at risk of contracting West Nile disease.
West Nile Virus is a disease that is spread to people and animals by infected mosquitoes.
“Most people infected with West Nile virus will not get sick or will only experience mild flu-like symptoms,” said Stolp. ”Rarely, the virus causes an inflammation of the brain resulting in serious illness or death.”
West Nile virus is established throughout the entire state of California including Calaveras and Tuolumne County. West Nile Virus was first detected in the Mother Lode in 2004.
West Nile virus is present from spring to late fall when mosquitoes are breeding and most active. The first line of defense against West Nile Virus is preventing mosquito breeding to decrease possible exposure to infected mosquitoes.
Residents of all ages should also protect themselves from mosquito bites by wearing insect repellent with Deet, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus and limiting outside activities at dusk and dawn.
For general information call the Tuolumne County Public Health Department at (209) 533-7405.
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