West Nile sticking around

Mosquito-borne disease claims more victims

West Nile virus (WNV) in Butte County continues to hang around, according to the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. The latest figures show that 34 “mosquito pools” have tested positive for the virus so far this year, as have 39 sentinel chickens, which are strategically placed fowl used to track WNV because they are susceptible to the disease but able to fight it off. Thirty-nine birds of a different feather (i.e., not sentinel chickens) have been located dead from the virus.

There have been eight human infections detected in the county this year.

“It’s imperative that residents assist with the prevention of mosquito breeding by inspecting and eliminating all standing water from their properties,” said Matthew Ball, the district’s manager.

WNV has been identified in Butte County every year since it arrived in 2004. A total of 112 residents have been infected with the virus, seven of whom have died.