On July 7, 2023, the Ventura County Environmental Health Division (Division) received confirmation from the California Department of Public Health of the first detection of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ventura County. The virus was detected in wild birds collected by the Division, for the State’s dead bird surveillance program, during the third week of June from the cities of Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura.
WNV is established in Ventura County and additional WNV positives are expected. The Division monitors and controls mosquito breeding sources throughout Ventura County. All mosquito breeding sources in the area where the birds were collected will be inspected and treated if evidence of mosquito breeding is observed.
The Division also advises the public to take the following precautions to minimize exposure to WNV: Eliminate standing water from your property; make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens without holes; when outdoors wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and limit activity especially at dawn and dusk, when outdoors apply insect repellent.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or skin rash that can last for several days to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death. If residents feel they are experiencing symptoms, it is strongly recommended to consult their primary care physician.
WNV can not only affect humans but can also affect horses. For information on WNV in horses, owners should contact their veterinarian. To report any potential mosquito breeding sources in Ventura County the public can call the mosquito complaint HOTLINE at (805) 658-4310. The Division also provides mosquito eating fish to the public to use in non-maintained swimming pools, ornamental ponds and similar water features. To request mosquito-eating fish call (805) 662-6582. To report wild birds that have died recently call the California Department of Public Health at (877) WNV-Bird (877-968-2473). To obtain information about mosquito control and surveillance efforts in Ventura County please visit the Division’s website: https://vcrma.org/vector-control-program # # #