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West Nile Virus Detected in San Bernardino County

RIALTO:( Two recent reported cases of West Nile Virus in humans were reported in Contra Costa and San Joaquin Counties this season.  West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes. These infected mosquitoes usually infects birds after feeding on their blood, making the sight of a more than usual amount of dead birds being a cause for concern.

Mosquitoes also can infect humans and animals through their bites. The majority of humans who are infected with West Nile virus do not show symptoms.  About 20% will show mild symptoms, while less than 1% will develop a severe illness. Symptoms can include a high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremor, weakness, numbness or in some more severe cases loss of vision or coma. The symptoms can last several weeks with some effects being permanent.There is no known cure for West Nile virus so prevention is necessary in protecting yourself, and your family.

The Division of Environmental Health Services Mosquito and Vector Control Program has chicken flocks that they place in locations throughout the county of San Bernardino County to detect West Nile Virus. A chicken from a flock located in the city of Rialto was tested positive for West Nile Virus. The recent detected virus in this chicken is a cause of concern since it is more likely that the mosquito population in that area is infected, increasing the risk to human infection.

This is the first chicken that tested positive this year by the county program. This discovery should not be a major cause for concern but should make those aware of the necessary precautions to reduce your chance of infection.

To reduce standing water including bird baths, ponds, old tires, buckets, flower pots, clogged gutters, puddles or green swimming pools which facilitate a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Avoid going out before or after sunset, when mosquitoes are most active. Wear clothing that covers your skin including shoes, socks, pants, long sleeve shirts that are preferably loose-fitting and light in color. Use insect repellent that contains DEET in the ingredients, those that do not contain DEET are proven less effective. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes in order to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

If you see a dead bird you are encouraged to submit a dead bird report at To report a green pool or any other mosquito breeding source contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Services at (800) 442-2283 or visit our website at

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