GALT, Calif. (KTXL) — The first dead birds of the season have tested positive for the West Nile virus in Sacramento County, according to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Three nestling scrub jays in Galt tested positive, the first indication for the virus this year.
“Finding the first indication of West Nile activity is always significant because it provides an early warning. It confirms that the virus is present, shows us where we may find positive mosquito samples and where human cases may develop later in the season.”Gary Goodman, Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District District Manager
Neighboring San Joaquin County also reported their first positive result for the virus more than a week ago, Goodman said in a statement.
Species such as crows, jays and magpies are considered “very susceptible” to the virus.
The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District added that the public should be on the lookout for mosquitoes, which also are carriers of the virus. The insects can bite during the day and may transmit dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses.
The public is encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).