Four more human infections of West Nile Virus in Lancaster

WNV AV BirdsLANCASTER – The county health department has reported four more human infections of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Lancaster.  This increases the number of human infections to ten.

The new infections include an asymptomatic blood donor in his 60s, and three patients who were hospitalized with encephalitis, meningitis and febrile illness.  A blood donor that was reported last week has also been reclassified to a West Nile fever case, since he developed symptoms that are consistent with a WNV infection.

The Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District also reports an additional mosquito sample that has tested positive for WNV.  This brings the total in the Antelope Valley to nine human cases, one asymptomatic blood donor, 16 sentinel chickens, five mosquito samples, and four dead birds.

“This is usually the peak time for West Nile Virus infection,” District Entomologist Karen Mellor said.  “As long as the weather stays warm we need to stay vigilant at protecting ourselves and our loved ones by using repellents when outside and removing standing water that could be a potential mosquito habitat.”

To keep mosquitoes away and stay safe, follow these tips:

  • Follow the 3 D’s (Drain, Dusk/Dawn, Defend/DEET)
  • Check your property for any standing water from sprinklers or thunder showers
  • Turn on fans to keep mosquitoes away
  • Keep screen doors and windows in good repair and close them
  • Don’t use bug zappers near your patio – they attract more mosquitoes than they kill

West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito.  Although most people that are infected do not show any symptoms, West Nile Virus is a potentially debilitating disease.  Even ‘mild’ cases of West Nile Fever can cause patients enormous pain and discomfort for months.

As of September 13, the California Department of Public Health has reported 117 human cases and six fatalities in California. Additionally 1,018 birds, 2,173 mosquito samples, 330 chickens, eight horses, and seven tree squirrels from 40 Counties have tested positive for WNV.

Also remember to:

  • Get FREE mosquito-eating fish (Gambusia affinis) for fish ponds, pools, and horse troughs.
  • Vaccinate your horses properly.
  • Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD.
  • Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at

For more information, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917 or visit

Previous related stories:

More Lancaster residents infected with West Nile Virus

3 Lancaster women get West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus prompts mosquito spraying in Lancaster

Dead birds in Lancaster test positive for West Nile virus

Early detection of West Nile Virus in the Antelope Valley