Virus activity spreads east.

ROSEVILLE, Calif., – A second dead bird in Placer County to test positive this year for West Nile virus has been found in Auburn. The bird was a western scrub jay, a common bird in the western states.

“This could be an indication that West Nile virus activity is increasing in the foothills area,” said Joel

Buettner, General Manager of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District. Buettner reports a decrease in mosquitoes in the surveillance traps along the western Placer County border. This comes on heels of significant mosquito control efforts made by the District in the past week. However, he warns that even though mosquito numbers are low in some areas, West Nile virus is still circulating in Placer County. This new dead bird shows an expanded area of West Nile virus activity. Buettner states that the District has increased surveillance in the area where the bird was found to see if local mosquitoes are also infected.

“This long weekend may signify the end of summer, but as long as temperatures remain warm, we are likely to see more dead birds and infected mosquitoes, which are indicators of continued risk from West Nile virus” states Buettner. While residents are enjoying outdoor activities this weekend, the District urges the use of an effective insect repellent. Meanwhile, the District will continue surveillance and treatment efforts to decrease the risk of exposure to the virus and protect public health.

For more information on recommended repellents, visit 2011 Placer County West Nile virus activity update: 2 dead birds, 0 sentinel chickens, 24 mosquito samples, and 0 humans have tested positive for West Nile Virus to date.

Contact: Ada Barros, Public Information Officer,  (916) 343-000