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Dead Bird Testing Positive For West Nile Virus Signals Alert

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Sonora, CA — Several weeks after reporting the first local West Nile virus (WNV) related human illness, local health officials are sharing the results of a wildlife infection test that reconfirms the need for extra cautionary measures.

As reported here, it was back on July 30 that the Tuolumne County Public Health Department conveyed details of the human infection, adding that the case was not considered life-threatening. Department officials are further reporting that earlier this month, on Sept. 4 to be exact, a dead California Scrub Jay was found in Sonora and tested for West Nile virus.

Since the detection of WNV in a dead bird is seen as an early warning signal, indicating that WNV-carrying mosquitos are actively present, when the results came back positive last Friday, it prompted them to further alert the public.

Reiterating that State Department of Public Health Director and Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith had earlier noted West Nile virus activity throughout California is on the rise, local health officials add that residents and visitors to Tuolumne County should take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites.

Too, anyone spotting a dead bird should report it online or by calling a special toll free hotline: 1-877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473). To do so and for the latest information on WNV in California, click here.