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Dead hawk in Ramona tests positive for West Nile virus

Posted at 3:39 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-13 18:39:58-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — County health officials say a dead Cooper's hawk found in Ramona has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The hawk is the second bird to test positive for the virus in San Diego County in 2019. Two county residents have also tested positive for the virus this year, but officials say both were bitten and contracted the virus in other counties.

Across the state, 184 people have tested positive for the virus and five people have died this year.

County health officials are now reminding the public to protect themselves from mosquitoes that may be carrying the potentially deadly virus.

West Nile virus is mainly a bird disease but can be transmitted to humans via mosquitoes who feed off an infected animal. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands.

Locals can prevent mosquitoes from breeding by removing any water that is sitting outside of homes or by using mosquito fish to control the bugs in stagnant water sources, like pools, ponds, or fountains.

Mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 is also recommended.