The West Nile Virus is a virus carried by mosquitoes that can infect people and animals. Most people that become infected don’t become ill, however a few can become seriously ill with meningitis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or other illnesses, and rarely, may even die. Although the virus can strike at any time, it occurs most in late summer or early fall. Each year, Shasta County residents and their animals are at risk for infection from West Nile Virus.
California Department of Public Health seeing increased West Nile Virus Activity
West Nile Virus Materials (PDF)
Links to Other Sites
West Nile Virus can be serious, so during summer people need to make effective mosquito repellent a part of their regular outdoor routine.
Remember the four Ds
- DRAIN standing water around the house weekly since it's where mosquitoes lay eggs. This includes tires, cans, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
- DUSK & DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active, so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
- DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
- DRESS in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.
Shasta County residents are urged to make effective mosquito repellent a part of their regular outdoor routine. Three mosquito repellents besides DEET are also recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use as repellents on skin and clothing: Picardin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and IR3535. Always follow instructions on containers carefully.
To help fight West Nile Virus in Shasta County
- Report significant mosquito problems to Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (serving limited areas of the greater Redding area) at (530) 365-3768 or www.shastamosquito.org, the Burney Mosquito Abatement District (serving Burney Basin) at (530) 335-2133, the Pine Grove Mosquito Abatement District (serving Fall River Valley) at (530) 336-5740.The three mosquito abatement districts in Shasta County use a variety of strategies to reduce mosquito populations.
- Report recently dead birds to the State hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or visit the website at www.westnile.ca.gov. Though not all birds can be picked up for testing, all calls help track the virus. Dead birds should be picked up with a plastic bag and not touched. If the bird is not needed for testing, dispose of it in a garbage container.
- Vaccinate your horses, because mortality is high in unvaccinated horses. Vaccine must be given before the animal is exposed.