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District will spray after WNV found in 2 Manteca birds

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POSTED June 20, 2013 12:54 a.m.

Two dead blue birds have triggered red flags for San Joaquin County officials, who have scheduled another treatment along Division Road and the Stanislaus River.

The Mosquito and Vector Control District has confirmed that two dead Western Scrub-Jays – often referred to as the blue jay of western North America – have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The birds were found in the 95336 zip code and are the first to test positive for the West Nile Virus in San Joaquin County this year. The District did not disclose exactly where the birds were found, other than that it was in an urban area in central Manteca.

The birds were collected in May and sent to UC Davis for testing.

In response, the District has scheduled a ground-spraying treatment in the south county along Division Road on Friday, June 21, or Monday, June 24, between 5 to 7:30 a.m.

The area of concern follows the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers, and includes Division and Two Rivers roads – a hot spot for mosquito activity this summer.

The District will target adult mosquitoes using Evergreen 60-6. There are also spraying operations scheduled for three tracts in the Delta area.

This recent detection of the West Nile virus follows an alert from the District on May 24, when officials discovered the virus in two mosquito samples along the Stanislaus River.

It was there, near a collection trap at Division Road, that a Manteca couple was brutally attacked by an aggressive swarm of mosquitoes. The species is believed to be the Aedes vexan, a non-carrier of the West Nile virus.

Tracy Crane and Scott Johnson became stranded for hours along a remote stretch of the Stanislaus River, which was flowing at higher levels. Crane suffered thousands of bites to her entire body, including her eyes.

San Joaquin is one of 13 counties to report West Nile activity this year. Only Sacramento County has reported a human case. As of June 14, the virus had been detected in 39 mosquito pools, 17 dead birds, one sentinel chicken and one human. Those figures do not include San Joaquin County’s latest discovery.

The West Nile virus has posed a threat to public health since 2004. In 2003, there were three documented human cases and no fatalities.

Since then, there have been 3,626 human cases with 130 fatalities. In 2012 alone, there were 479 human cases and 20 deaths – the most since 2007 (21), according to California West Nile Virus.

In the San Joaquin County, there were 13 human cases (no fatalities), two diseased horses, 59 dead birds and 169 infected mosquito samples in 2012.

The West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever (headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting) in human cases, and in severe instances, neurological disease.



People of older or younger age, as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions are most susceptible.

For more information or to file a service call, contact the San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (209) 982-4675 or visit them online at www.sjmosquito.org.

To report dead birds and tree squirrels to (877) WNV-BIRD or www.westnile.ca.gov.

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