CHICO — Signaling that the West Nile virus continues to spread locally, the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed 18 new mosquito pools and 14 birds testing positive for the virus this week.
“WNV remains active and is widespread throughout Butte County,” the district announced in an email Thursday afternoon.
Mosquito pools are groups of the same mosquito species. Vector control officers mapped pools in and around Chico, Hamilton City, Richvale, Biggs, Gridley, Oroville and Palermo. The Chico-area spots are by East and Nord avenues, Stilson Canyon, the Chico State University Farm and two along Comanche Creek — the latter abutting the district’s Chico substation.
Comanche Creek Greenway also is the site of infected sentinel chickens. Officials found others in southwest Chico and near Hamilton City, Biggs and Palermo.
As of Friday, two county residents had contracted the disease, which the state Department of Public Health calls “the most common and serious vector-borne disease in California.” Year-to-date, the 14 human cases statewide represent a 30% jump from this point last summer. Though most infected people display no signs, WNV may trigger mild symptoms or potentially prove fatal.
For more information on the disease and vector control’s preventative measures, including its fogging schedule, visit buttemosquito.com.