FALLBROOK — On September 23 the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) and the County Department of Environmental Health Vector Control’s weekly report on West Nile virus (WNV) included four new confirmed locally acquired human cases of WNV, 14 dead birds, three positive sentinel chickens and six positive batches of mosquitoes.
One of the dead birds, an American crow, was found in Fallbrook on September 16. That brought the number of birds affected in the Fallbrook/Bonsall area this year to nine. Most of those birds were American crows, but a barn owl, an American hawk and a great horned owl were also among the birds killed by WNV in this area.
To date, there have been 18 human cases of the virus in the county, none in the Fallbrook/Bonsall area.
The public can take the following steps to protect themselves against WNV:
• Use insect repellent when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
• Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535
• Do not sleep outside unprotected while camping
• Wear long sleeves and pants
• Ensure screens on windows and doors fit tightly and have no holes or other damage
• Check property weekly for mosquito breeding sources; go to http://www.SDFighttheBite.com for a mosquito prevention checklist
• Report green pools to County Vector Control
Most people infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms or become seriously ill. Nearly one in five who do fall ill may suffer from headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands.
Approximately one in 150 people infected with WNV develop more serious neurological effects such as meningitis, encephalitis or myelitis. Anyone who might have WNV should contact a healthcare provider.
For more information or to report dead birds or green pools, call the county’s WNV information line toll-free at (888) 551-4636.