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Potentially Dangerous Mosquito-Bourne Virus Detected On South Coast

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
West Nile virus doesn't impact most people, but in rare cases a bite from an infected mosquito can lead to serious illness or death.

A bird from Simi Valley has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

COVID-19 isn’t the only virus causing a big health concern on the Central and South Coasts. It’s the time of year when the West Nile virus becomes a risk.

Ventura County is reporting the first discovery this year of a bird with the virus. It was found in Simi Valley. West Nile is transmitted by a mosquito bite. But, it can be spread when an infected mosquito bites a bird, and the bird flies to another area, and is bitten again by a mosquito.

So far, no human cases of the West Nile virus have been diagnosed in the region. In most cases, people bitten by an infected mosquito don’t have symptoms. But, older people, or those with preexisting health conditions can have flu-like issues. In rare cases, it can cause serious illness or death.

Public health officials say people should protect themselves. Steps include the use of mosquito repellent, avoiding outdoor activity during dusk and dawn hours when the mosquitoes are out and by eliminating mosquito breeding areas on your property.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.