SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — West Nile virus has been detected in two birds found in the South Lake Tahoe area.According to a Wednesday release from the El Dorado County Environmental Management and Health Services Departments, the virus was confirmed on June 13 in two American robins found June 6 in the Tahoe Keys area of South Lake Tahoe.No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the county this year.“Confirmation of West Nile virus positive birds means the virus is circulating in the community and there is a heightened risk of infection in humans,” Interim El Dorado County Health Officer Dr. Robert Hartmann stated in the release. “It appears that West Nile season has arrived early this year. Residents are urged to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on infected birds. The illness is not spread from person-to-person. Most people infected with West Nile virus do not show symptoms. However, some people may experience high fever, severe headache, tiredness and/or a stiff neck that may last several days to several weeks. The most serious cases of West Nile virus infection can lead to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal.For more information, visit www.westnile.ca.gov or www.edcgov.us/emd.
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