News Details

West Nile virus activity detected in Solano County

July 28, 2020

SOLANO COUNTY - The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health division and the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District (SCMAD) have confirmed that a bird from the city of Benicia has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The California Scrub-Jay was collected July 12, 2020 in eastern Benicia.  As of July 28, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that 4 human cases from 3 counties tested positive for West Nile Virus.

"This marks the official start of West Nile virus season in Solano County," said Dr. Christine Wu, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Health Officer for the County. "This is an important reminder for residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid coming in contact with mosquitoes, such as using insect repellent when outside and eliminating standing water where mosquitos can breed."

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitos become infected when they feed on infected birds.  Reduce the risk of contracting mosquito-borne illness by following these guidelines, including:

Dawn and dusk

Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and evening.  Residents should avoid being outside at these times. If you are outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants and use insect repellent

Drain standing water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water.  Residents should eliminate all sources of standing water on their property and drain empty flower pots, buckets, barrels, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.  If you have an ornamental pond, contact the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District at (707) 437-1116 for a free mosquito fish.

DEET and other repellents
Insect repellents help keep mosquitoes from biting.  Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535 or para-menthane-diol products per the manufacturer's instructions.

Doors and windows
Residents should ensure that their doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out.  Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.

Most people (about 4 in 5) infected with the West Nile virus will not develop any symptoms.  About 1 in 5 will develop mild flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph glands.  However, about 1 percent (about 1 in 150) of persons with WNV infections will develop severe neurological disease.  In rare cases, WNV infection can be fatal.

Anyone can be infected with West Nile virus, but people who are 60 years old and older and those with certain medical conditions, like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and people who have received organ transplants, are at greater risk of developing severe illness and complications.

The SCMAD staff is conducting surveillance activities in the affected area to apply appropriate control measures where mosquitoes of the same infected species are present.

“The District is increasing mosquito monitoring throughout the areas with West Nile Virus activity,” says Richard Snyder, Solano County Mosquito Abatement District Manager.  “I urge residents to join us in our prevention and control efforts by making sure they don't have any standing water on their property and to report any unmaintained swimming pools and stagnant water by calling us at (707) 437-1116.”

Residents are encouraged to report dead birds and squirrels online at 
www.WestNile.Ca.Gov or by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473).