First Dead Bird Tests Positive For West Nile Virus in San Mateo County

The San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District reports:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Robert Gay: (650) 344 - 8592 *12

June 10, 2014



San Carlos, CA – A dead bird collected from San Carlos on June 4, 2014, tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first indication of WNV in San Mateo County in 2014. Over the previous ten years, from 2004 through 2013, 64 dead birds and 16 squirrels collected in the county tested positive for WNV. To date in 2014, West Nile virus has been detected in thirteen counties statewide.


West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. The primary hosts are birds.  Humans, horses and other animals can become infected with WNV if bitten by an infected mosquito. It cannot be spread person to person. “The first West Nile-positive bird of the season is an important reminder that West Nile virus is still present in San Mateo County,” said Robert Gay, District Manager of SMCMVCD. “West Nile virus activity may increase as we head into the summer months, and it is important for residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”


The San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) controls mosquitoes through an integrated mosquito control program that targets the immature stages, which breed in standing water. “Our vector control technicians are continuously inspecting standing water and treating sources of mosquito breeding throughout the county,” stated Gay. The district will be deploying mosquito traps in the neighborhood where the dead bird was found to collect adult mosquitos for WNV testing.


Reports of dead birds are an early indication that the virus is circulating in the environment. Residents are encouraged to help by reporting fresh carcasses of birds or tree squirrels to the West Nile virus hotline, online at www.westnile.ca.gov or by phone at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).


To prevent mosquito breeding on your property and to prevent mosquito bites, follow the “Three D’s”:

 DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.

 DAWN and DUSK – Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and

windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out.

 DEET– Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535

according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you.


For assistance with a mosquito problem in San Mateo County, contact the District at (650) 344-8592.


For more information on West Nile Virus and other district services, visit us on the web at:  www.smcmad.org.

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