Two dead birds found in Santa Monica this year have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to a county public health advisory.
The most recent case was identified earlier this month after a dead American Crow was collected in Santa Monica. The first dead bird in the city to test positive for West Nile Virus was reported May 17, the advisory said.
West Nile Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, which becomes infected after it feeds on birds that carry the virus, county health officials said.
People infected with the virus can experience a variety of symptoms that may include headache, high fever, tiredness and body aches. Symptoms usually occur 2-15 days after infection. The first 2012 human case of West Nile Virus in the county was reported in July with a middle-aged adult in the San Gabriel Valley who is expected to recover, the county public health department said.
The recent advisory was issued to warn the public that dead birds carried the virus but county health officials explained that Santa Monica was not necessarily where the birds were infected.
“Although positive birds collected in a specific area are significant with respect to trends on a wider basis, it does not definitively identify a specific city, zip code, or location as the site where the actual mosquito bite and infection occurred because of these birds’ extended daily travel patterns,” the health advisory stated.
For protection against the virus, residents are encouraged to apply insect repellent, make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes, and eliminate all sources of standing water on their property.