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West Nile positive bird found in Auburn

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A dead bird found in Auburn tested positive for West Nile virus. The county’s Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Friday that a western scrub jay tested positive for the disease. It is the second dead bird in Placer County to test positive for West Nile this year. This first was found in Rocklin in August. “This could be an indication that West Nile virus activity is increasing in the foothills area,” said Joel Buettner, general manager of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District. This past week, vector district employees have made “significant” mosquito control efforts and Buettner reported that they noticed a decrease in mosquitoes in the surveillance traps along the western Placer County border. However, the new dead bird, which is common in the western states, shows an expanded area of West Nile virus activity, Buettner said. He added that the District has increased surveillance in the area where the bird was found to see if local mosquitoes are also infected. “This long weekend may signify the end of summer, but as long as temperatures remain warm, we are likely to see more dead birds and infected mosquitoes, which are indicators of continued risk from West Nile virus,” Buettner said. Residents are urged to use of an effective insect repellent. For more information on recommended repellents, visit www.placermosquito.org. ~ Staff report ---------- By the numbers Placer County West Nile 2011 findings 24 – Mosquito samples that tested positive 2 – Dead birds found that tested positive 0 – Sentinel chickens that tested positive 0 – Humans that tested positive *numbers accurate as of Friday, Sept. 2 ----------