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Posted by: thepinetree on 11/13/2017 09:23 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 11/13/2017 09:23 AM
Expires: 01/01/2022 12:00 AM
:

West Nile Virus Detected in Copperopolis

Copperopolis, CA...West Nile Virus has been detected in the Copperopolis area of Calaveras County. On 10/4/12 Calaveras County Public Health Division received confirmation of the first detection of West Nile Virus for 2017 in a chicken from Copperopolis.





The chicken is part of a flock of "sentinel chickens" that are part of a surveillance program which forms a front line of defense against West Nile disease, a mosquito-borne illness that can cause flu-like symptoms and, in rare instances, death. By regularly drawing the blood of the birds, Health Officials can predict when and if humans may be at risk for developing the illness from mosquitos.

"The birds form an early warning system that West Nile Virus is present in our community" says Dean Kelaita, MD, Calaveras County Health Officer. So far the chicken in Copperopolis is the only species to test positive for the West Nile antibodies in Calaveras County in 2017. No human cases have been reported this year to the Health Department.

"About 80% of persons infected with West Nile Virus will have no symptoms at all," said Dr. Kelaita. "Close to 20% will get mild flu-like illness and small percentage will experience the more severe neurologic symptoms."

Dr. Kelaita urged Calaveras residents to practice "the three D's" of prevention : Use DEET or another effective mosquito repellent, avoid mosquito exposure at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active; and drain standing water from around your home to keep the insects from breeding.

West Nile Virus can cause severe illness and death in horses. A vaccine for horses is available but must be given yearly. Early spring is the best time to protect your horses. Calaveras County will continue to track local cases of West Nile Virus in sentinel chickens and human case reports from the medical community. "Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent human West Nile disease" Dr. Kelaita emphasized.

Information on West Nile Virus is available from Calaveras County Public Health
Division at (209)754-6460.



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