West Nile virus detected in Goleta
April 15, 2015
Mosquitoes collected at Lake Los Carneros in Goleta on April 2 tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
April’s positive result marks the earliest detection of West Nile in Santa Barbara County. Since 2007, Santa Barbara County has reported seven non-human West Nile virus detections and three people who tested positive for the virus.
In San Luis Obispo County, there have been 15 positive detections in water or dead birds, but no reported human West Nile virus infections since 2007.
In 2014, California had its highest number of positive human detections and deaths in 10 years with 798 cases and 29 deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health.
West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that was originally found in Africa. In 1999, it was detected in the eastern United States and has since spread throughout the country.
Most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms. About 20 percent of people who contract the virus will show symptoms which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.
To reduce the risk of infection, state health official recommend staying inside when mosquitoes are most active, dumping or draining water that has been standing for more than three days and the use of insect repellent.