The City's Department of Public Health is urging you to take precautions after mosquitoes trapped in Central El Paso tested positive for West Nile Virus. No cases were reported from Grant County, though WNV was found in 14 mosquito samples here. Often there are no symptoms, but those older than 60 are more likely to die or to develop a severe illness.
The health district is advising residents to avoid exposure to mosquitoes by staying indoors, wearing long sleeves and long trousers when going into mosquito-infested areas, using mosquito repellent when outdoors and eliminating mosquito breeding areas around their homes. IDPH reported 90 human cases in 2017, including eight deaths, although authorities say human cases are underreported. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile will not show any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people infected will have mild symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches.
Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Fix or replace screens that have tears or other openings. "We continue to ask for everyone's cooperation in draining all backyard mosquito sources and wearing an effective mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors". Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months. All of those samples came from Sacramento County and no cases of West Nile have been reported in animals or insects from Yolo County.
Anyone who sees a sick or dying cow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing. The risk of getting West Nile virus is low, but anyone can become infected.