ELK GROVE, Calif. – West Nile virus activity in California is up from this time last year.
A total of 18 counties in California have registered West Nile virus activity in comparison to 11 counties this time in 2011, according to the most recent statistics compiled at Fight The Bite, California's West Nile virus website.
As well, the first human case of WNV was discovered in June, when a Kern County woman was hospitalized after contracting the virus. At this time in 2011, no human cases had been detected.
Numerous mosquito and dead bird samples have tested positive for WNV in Sacramento County, according to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
“We continue to see West Nile virus activity much earlier than we have seen in previous years,” said District Manager David Brown. “The warm temperatures of the last few days have amplified the virus and we continue to be concerned with the increased activity.”
Sacramento County has accounted for 160 dead birds so far, out of the California total of 223 dead birds, according to Fight the Bite.
The District is advising residents of Sacramento and Yolo counties to wear effective mosquito repellent and to make sure mosquitos are not breeding on their property.
The District recently conducted aerial spraying to combat mosquitos and WNV over areas of South Sacramento, and results show the number of mosquitos significantly decreased in the area treated as compared to untreated areas, the District said.
Fight the Bite is a partnership of the California Department of Public Health, UC Davis Center for Vectorborne Diseases, the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.