West Nile Virus Discovered In Merced County


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(Merced, CA)
Friday, June 17, 2005

Officials in Merced say a crow has tested positive for West Nile Virus. Health officials aren't surprised that the mosquito-borne disease has shown up in the county. After all, with it's vast wetlands and numerous dairy farms, the county is considered a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.

But Allan Inman, the head of the local Mosquito Abatement District says the discovery of the disease in June is reason for concern.

"One troubling fact is that it occurred here on June third and last year our first positive bird didn't occur until August 24th." 

Inman says the early arrival means that people will be exposed for a greater length of time and that increases the possibility they'll contract the potentially fatal disease.

Last year there was one recorded death in Merced County from West Nile, even though officials believe the victim contracted the virus in southern California.