H-SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

Sep 20, 2012 1:29 PM by Katherine Worsham, KSBY News

Two more cases of West Nile discovered in San Luis Obispo County

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says two birds found in northern San Luis Obispo County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The first was a hawk collected in Paso Robles on August 5th. Health officials say the bird had a chronic infection, so they don't know when it first contracted the virus.

On September 10th, a wild turkey was found in Atascadero with the virus. Health officials say it was recently infected.

These are the first cases of West Nile Virus reported in northern San Luis Obispo County this year, but not the first in the county overall.

On August 9th, an infected red hawk was found in the city of San Luis Obispo.

West Nile Virus has been detected in 38 other counties in California in 2012. There have been 126 human cases reported and six deaths since the beginning of the year.

West Nile Virus is transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

The Health Department has these tips to reduce your risk of being bitten by a mosquito:

  • Many mosquitoes are active in the evening and morning. Avoid spending time outside if possible at those times of day.
  • If you do go outside, be sure to wear long sleeved clothing and apply insect repellant.
  • Avoid areas of heavy mosquito activity.

To reduce mosquito breeding areas:

  • Eliminate standing water on your property.
  • Keep window and door screens in good repair.
  • Change water in bird baths and pet dishes (at least weekly).
  • Keep children's wading pools empty when not in use.

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