West Nile virus detected in Petaluma for first time in 2022

This year’s first finding confirmed after dead bird tested positive|

This year’s first detection of West Nile virus was found last week in Petaluma.

The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed the finding after collecting a dead American Crow infected with the virus near South McDowell Boulevard and Casa Grande Road.

District staff will continue trapping, testing and monitoring the adult mosquitoes around the area where the positive dead bird was found. Vector control technicians are inspecting and keeping track of all sources of mosquito production and performing control operations as needed, according to the district.

“This positive dead bird is a reminder that West Nile virus is endemic to our region,” Nizza Sequeira, public information officer for the district, said in a news release.

The district and the California Department of Public Health recommend using a repellent for personal protection with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, para-menthane-diol or oil of lemon eucalyptus as an active ingredient.

Other recommended methods of protection include:

  • Adding mosquitofish — a freshwater fish that eats mosquito larvae — into permanent water features. Residents can get them free from the district through its mosquito control program.
  • Properly securing screens and lids on water storage containers, septic tanks and vent pipes.
  • Refraining from over-watering lawns.
  • Cleaning out birdbaths and outdoor water bowls at least twice a week.
  • Properly chlorinating hot tubs and swimming pools.

About 1 in 5 people who are infected with West Nile virus develop symptoms, such as fever, headache, drowsiness, nausea and a rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

The public can report mosquito-related issues by calling 707-285-2200 or visiting msmosquito.org.

Contact the reporter Rebecca Wolff at rebecca.wolff@sonomanews.com.

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