Sunday, 19 May 2024

Horse, dead bird found infected with West Nile

LAKE COUNTY – The first cases of West Nile Virus being detected in horses and birds in Lake County have been confirmed, according to state and local officials.

A local horse was found to be carrying the disease this week, though specifics on the animal's location have not been released, said Dr. Jamie Scott, Lake County Vector Control District district manager and research director. Scott confirmed the find to Lake County News on Wednesday.

The state's West Nile Virus Web site reports that the equine case was one of two reported across the state this week, with the other being in Riverside.

The state reported that this week's equine cases brings the total statewide to eight horses in six counties – in addition to Lake and Riverside, Orange, Sacramento, San Diego and Fresno also have reported infected horses.

Also on Wednesday, the first dead bird found in Lake County with the virus was confirmed, Scott said.

The bird in question was an American crow collected in Lakeport on Aug. 21, said Scott.

Approximately 1,658 dead birds infected with West Nile Virus have been found in California this year, according to state officials. That's nearly double the tally at this time last year of 878.

Scott provided Lake County News with a summary of West Nile Virus activity since 2003, which shows the disease's activity is down across all categories this year as compared to last with the exception of equine cases. There were none in 2007.

The first human West Nile case was discovered in the county in 2004, with two others in 2006, and none reported since then.

Statewide, this year human cases total 132, compared to 199 in 2007, according to state officials.

West Nile Virus cases are down this year in horses, according to state statistics. There have been eight equine cases this year, compared with 19 at this time in 2007.

Mosquito samples also are up statewide, totaling 1,244 so far in 2008 compared to 771 at this time last year.

Three Lake County mosquito samples – two from Lakeport and one from Upper Lake – tested positive for West Nile Virus last month, as Lake County News has reported. Last year there were eight local mosquito samples that tested positive.

No sentinel chickens or squirrels have tested positive for West Nile locally this year, Scott reported. Statewide there have been 134 sentinel chickens and 13 squirrels reported to be infected.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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