Health

West Nile Virus Update: Six More County Residents Test Positive

The state has confirmed that six more San Diego County residents have tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing this year’s total in the county to 17, including two previously reported deaths.

Fourteen more San Diego County residents, including two more people who have died, are suspected West Nile virus cases.

County public health and environmental health again urged people to remember to protect themselves from mosquitoes and to keep mosquitoes from breeding by emptying out standing water in and around homes. West Nile virus is not transmitted from person to person, but can be transmitted to people by mosquitoes that first feed on infected animals, mainly birds, and then on humans. Officials said the public should follow its “Prevent, Protect, Report” guidelines.

As of Oct. 14, the County reported:

  • 17 state-confirmed human cases including two deaths (11 cases and two deaths in 2014)
  • 14 human cases of West Nile virus pending confirmation.
  • 278 dead infected birds recovered (compared to 41 in 2014)
  • 40 batches of infected mosquitoes collected (compared to six in 2014)
  • Six sentinel chickens testing positive for West Nile virus (two in 2014)

For a complete breakdown of this year’s statistics, go to the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health’s West Nile Virus Activity Web page.

Prevent, Protect, Report

Prevent Mosquito Breeding: Dump out or remove any item inside or outside of homes that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires, and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish, available for free by contacting the Environmental Health Vector Control Program, may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as unused swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.

Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites: Protect yourself from West Nile virus by staying inside when most mosquitoes are most active, at dusk and dawn. Wear long sleeves and pants or use repellent when outdoors. Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good condition and secured to keep insects out.

Report Dead Birds and Green Swimming Pools: Report dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks and owls, and green swimming pools to the Environmental Health Vector Control Program by calling (858) 694-2888 or emailing  vector@sdcounty.ca.gov.

For more information about West Nile virus, go to San Diego County’s “Fight the Bite” website.

Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact