The county of San Diego collected 50 dead birds that tested positive for the potentially fatal West Nile virus in the first half of this year, more than all of 2014, the Department of Environmental Health reported Wednesday.
The DEH said 14 WNV-infected birds were discovered just last week in various parts of the region, including Carmel Valley, City Heights, El Cajon, La Mesa, Oceanside, Ramona and Spring Valley.
The total number of dead birds found in all of last year was 41.
The virus is spread to birds and people by mosquitoes. Last year, 11 San Diegans were infected by the disease and two died.
“There are simple things people can do to help protect themselves,” said DEH Director Elizabeth Pozzebon. “Get rid of standing water in and around your home so mosquitoes can’t breed, wear insect repellent and report dead birds to our vector control program by calling or emailing them.”
Four out of five people bitten by a mosquito carrying WNV won’t have symptoms. Of those who do get sick, most will have a mild headache, fever, nausea, skin rash or swollen glands.
The symptoms turn life-threatening in one out of 150 cases, mainly for people
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