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West Nile Virus detected in Santa Barbara County - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

West Nile Virus detected in Santa Barbara County

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The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department says four chickens have tested positive for West Nile Virus near the City of Solvang.

The chickens are part of a flock that is monitored by the Vector Management District specifically for West Nile.

Health officials say, when the virus is detected in chickens, that means humans could be at risk, as well, via mosquito bites.

No human cases of the virus have been reported so far in Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo counties in 2017. 

The virus was detected in a dead bird in San Luis Obispo County last month.

There have been 211 human cases of West Nile Virus in California so far this year and eight people have died.

Health officials say you can prevent mosquito bites by staying inside when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and using mosquito repellant, making sure door and window screens are tight-fitting, and eliminating standing water to prevent mosquito breeding.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include fever, headache and body aches. The elderly and people with suppressed immune systems are at risk for more serious illness.

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