West Nile virus found in mosquito sample in Sycamore

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The West Nile Virus is spread through mosquitoes from early summer to late fall.

Because of privacy concerns, Hamilton Public Health won't say how many human cases of the mosquito-borne virus have been reported so far this year but say it's five or fewer. "That means there are a lot of other people out there who have been infected".

Drain or treat all standing water around your home.

Zilka said some residents have criticized mosquito spraying, however he said it is necessary to combat West Nile.

Metro Health and Wellness says most people infected with West Nile virus either show no symptoms or relatively mild symptoms. However, some people - less than one percent - will develop serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Studies also indicate that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.

There has been two West Nile-related deaths historically in the county, once each in 2005 and 2006, she said.

As of August 11, 171 dead birds infected with West Nile virus had been recorded across the state, compared with 914 at the same time past year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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Health officials provided these tips for keeping mosquitoes at bay.

Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. "We are increasing treatment protocols for the surrounding areas and targeting known habitat areas to minimize the development of adult mosquitoes".

Use a mosquito repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient such as DEET while you are outdoors.

Long-sleeve shirts and trousers can prevent infection, as can the use of insect repellent.

Reduce exposure to mosquitoes-avoid mosquito bites by limiting outdoor activities during the times of high mosquito activity at dusk and dawn. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes.

County health offficials are still treating standing water in public areas with environmentally safe larvicide and trapping mosquitos for testing, according to the announcement.

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