West Nile Virus found in Anderson

Red-winged blackbird dies

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<p>The crow in the video, sick with West Nile Virus, was found by Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District biologist John Albright. The virus can cause brain inflammation; the main symptom of which is lethargic behavior. The crow died a couple hours after Albright made the video.</p>

Press the Enter key to start the movie when it has finished downloading. Allow a couple minutes for the download.

The crow in the video, sick with West Nile Virus, was found by Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District biologist John Albright. The virus can cause brain inflammation; the main symptom of which is lethargic behavior. The crow died a couple hours after Albright made the video.

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BIRD KILLER: A red-winged blackbird with West Nile Virus was found dead on Fig Tree Lane in Anderson.

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BIRD KILLER: A red-winged blackbird with West Nile Virus was found dead on Fig Tree Lane in Anderson.

The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMVCD) found a mosquito containing West Nile Virus (WNV) in a mosquito trap June 21 across Highway 273 from the Jolly Giant Flea Mart, according to biologist John Albright. This is the first documented instance of a WNV-infected mosquito found in Anderson.

A dead red-winged blackbird with WNV was also found near Fig Tree Lane in Anderson on June 20. Ten dead birds testing positive for WNV have been found in Shasta County this year. Ninety dead birds with WNV were found in Shasta County last year.

The red-winged blackbird was the first non-corvid found with WNV this year. Corvids, such as crows and magpies, are most susceptible to the virus.

The virus can cause swelling of the brain, so birds may exhibit lethargic behavior.

“We have never had this many positive birds this early in the year, nor have we ever had a positive mosquito sample this early,” said Albright.

Despite the high number of instances, Albright said that the mosquito levels happen to be low this year. Albright also reiterated that many aspects of nature have occurred a few weeks earlier than usual this year because of the mild winter.

The SMVCD expects to see some human cases of WNV in the coming weeks.

“The virus is really avoidable,” said Albright, “I know I sound like a broken record, but wear bug repellant and get rid of standing water on your property.”

The SMVCD encourages people to report any dead birds or squirrels to the West Nile Hotline at 1-877-968-2473.

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