West Nile virus found in Placerville | TahoeDailyTribune.com

West Nile virus found in Placerville

A bird found in the Placerville area has tested positive for the West Nile virus, county health and environment management officials confirmed. It is the first bird to test positive in El Dorado County this year.

The bird, a California towhee, was found on July 11. So far there have been no reports of human or horse cases of the virus in the county. So far this year, the virus activity has been reported in 36 California counties.

“Confirmation of our first bird means that the virus is starting to circulate between birds and mosquitoes and there is a heightened risk of infection in humans,” said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, county health officer. “Residents are advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves.”

The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes pick up the virus when they feed on infected birds.

Mosquito surveillance programs are in place in El Dorado and Douglas counties.

Report dead birds and squirrels to the state’s hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD ((877) 968-2473). Not all birds will be picked up and tested, but reporting dead birds and tree squirrels is important information for mosquito control efforts. Wear gloves and place dead birds or squirrels in a double plastic bag if disposing of them yourself.

Report mosquito problems to the El Dorado County Environmental Management Department at (530) 621-5300 in Placerville or (530) 573-3450 in South Lake Tahoe.

Angora Lakes Resort, Angora Ridge Road open

Angora Ridge Road from Fallen Leaf Lake to the Angora Lookout and on to Angora Lakes Resort is open. The resort was unaffected by the Angora fire and is fully open and operational. You may call the Angora Lakes Resort at (530) 541-2092.

Residents and visitors are reminded that the area of the Angora fire is closed to all public access. The burn area contains unstable hazard trees, and other post-fire hazards. The burn area closure does not affect access to and through Angora Ridge Road.

“We’ve been open for two weeks,” said Jim Hildinger, co-owner of Angora Lakes Resort. “From the resort you cannot tell there was a fire.”

— Staff report

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