West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitoes and can infect people, horses, and birds. People can only get the virus from the bite of an infected mosquito; the disease does not spread from other animals to humans, or from person to person.
Evidence indicates that the chance of human infection and illness resulting from West Nile Virus is quite low. Most people who acquire the virus never develop any symptoms. As with many illnesses, young children and the elderly are most at risk.
There are some steps that can be taken around your home to decrease mosquito breeding and personal measures you can take to reduce the risk of being bitten.
· Empty water from old tires, empty containers, pots, plastic ground covers and anything else that holds water.
· Change water in birdbaths, ponds, pet dishes and animal troughs twice a week.
· Repair leaking faucets and sprinklers.
· Clean clogged gutters.
· Maintain pools and spas.
· Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, especially between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active.
· Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes rest.
· Apply mosquito repellent when outdoors and following the instructions. Effective repellents contain DEET, Picaridin or oil of eucalyptus. Do not use DEET on children 2 or younger.
Clatsop County West Nile Virus Suveillance
Public Health monitors for the presense of West Nile Virus by testing certain dead birds that may have become infected through a mosquito bite.
Birds of the Corvid family are the most sensitive to becoming ill, and thus are the used for surveillance. Corvids include crows, ravens, blue jays, Stellar's jays and magpies.
Help us to monitor for WNV by reporting dead birds that are of the Corvid family, that have been dead no more than 24 hours, and that have not obviously died from trauma such as hitting a window, being hit by a car, attacked by a predator or died from possible pesticide spraying.
To report a dead bird, call Environmental Health at (503) 325-8500 ext. 1927.
These information sheets answer typical questions about the virus and what you can do to protect yourself and your family this summer.
West Nile Virus: Information for Children Attending Camps, Schools and Day Care
Información para niños que van a la escuela, guardería, excursiones
West Nile Virus: Elderly at Risk
CDC Mosquito Repellant Information