County prepares for West Nile virus |

County prepares for West Nile virus

West Nile virus has already begun to emerge in California this year, and infected birds have been found as close to Nevada County as Sacramento, Nevada County’s environmental health director said Tuesday.

Larry Sage told the Nevada County Board of Supervisors that no human cases have been reported in the state in 2005, but infected birds have been found in Sacramento County and other communities across California.

Nevada County has also already begun monitoring birds and Sage plans to meet with environmental health directors in surrounding rural counties next week to discuss coordinated prevention efforts.

Anyone who finds a sick or recently dead bird is encouraged to call the state alert hotline, 1-800-WNV-BIRD or visit on the Web. For more information about the local effort, visit online.

West Nile virus is a potentially deadly disease that strikes the central nervous system. It is most often transmitted by mosquito bites.

Last year, the virus was found in several dead Nevada County birds, but no humans have yet been reported infected in the county.

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