West Nile virus is back

Bird tests positive for mosquito-borne illness in Chico

West Nile virus was recently detected in Chico when a robin tested positive for the mosquito-borne illness. It’s the first case of WNV reported in Butte County this year.

WNV is currently active in 21 counties in California, according to a press release from the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. As of June 24, health officials reported that 277 dead birds have tested positive for WNV statewide, compared with 102 dead birds on the same date last year. Positive mosquito samples are up as well, from 180 to 264.

Since 2004, when WNV first arrived in the county, 208 residents have been infected with the virus; eight died as a result. The district urges residents to report suspected mosquito breeding sites by calling 533-6038.