Bird infected with West Nile found in Modesto

June 16, 2009 

Officials today confirmed that a dead bird found in Modesto earlier this month tested positive for West Nile virus, the first for Stanislaus County this year.

West Nile virus has been detected in 40 birds and 49 mosquito samples in 12 out of the state’s 58 counties this year. There have been no human infections.

The infected bird was an American crow, which along with blue jays and yellow-billed magpies, are the species most often found infected.

So far, the county has tested 21 dead birds for the virus, according to the East Side Mosquito Abatement District.

The finding is a good reminder for people to prepare for the summer mosquito season.

The abatement district will control the mosquitoes with pesticides.

"Neglected swimming pools are difficult to find and are the primary breeding source of mosquito species carrying WNV,”"manager Lloyd Douglass said. "Residents need to take an active part in reducing their risk of getting WNV by eliminating standing water around their homes, keeping their pools in good working order, and reporting neglected pools.

"People are advised to use insect repellents where mosquitoes are active and report dead birds."

Questions or concerns may be directed to the local Mosquito Abatement District.

In Stanislaus County, residents north of the Tuolumne River can call East Side Mosquito Abatement District at 522-4098. All other residents may call Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at 634-1234.

The public can report dead birds to the California Department of Health Services by logging on to or by calling toll-free 1-877-968-2473.

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