Chicoan infected with WNV

Health agencies give advice to avoid contracting the mosquito-borne virus

The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Butte County this year was reported by the Butte County Public Health Department Aug. 6. The victim was described as an elementary-school-age child from north Chico.

Everyone, regardless of age, is susceptible to WNV; people 50 years of age and up are more vulnerable, as are those with diabetes or hypertension, said a BCPHD press release.

WNV in humans has been detected in 14 California counties so far this year. In Butte County, five dead birds, 13 sentinel chickens, one squirrel and 14 mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus.

“We are definitely seeing WNV activity in Butte County,” said Dr. Mark Lundberg, Butte County’s public-health officer. “The public should take extra care to avoid mosquito bites.”

The press release also advised “eliminating all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.”