Thursday, August 28, 2008

West Nile Virus found locally


Health officials revealed the first West Nile Virus-related incident of the year in Santa Barbara County, reporting that a crow tested positive for the virus in the Santa Barbara area.
One of 10 birds from the county tested since the beginning of the year, the crow is the first found to be infected with the illness, health officials said.

“This confirms that there is West Nile Virus activity locally and it is a reminder that we should take steps to avoid mosquito bites,” Dr. Elliot Schulman, the county’s health director, said in a news release.
The virus is transmitted to humans and animals by mosquitoes, which pick up the disease from infected birds. Since the beginning of the year, West Nile Virus activity has been detected in 39 of 58 counties in the state.
While no human cases have been reported in Santa Barbara County since 2006, there have been 103 people infected statewide this year, including one fatality, health officials reported.
Many of those infected with the virus don’t experience any symptoms, while others may experience fever, headache and body aches, according to the release. Those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to severe cases.
Health officials said residents should avoid spending time outdoors during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Those who do venture outdoors should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and use insect repellent.
More information on West Nile Virus is available at,, and


David Pritchett said...

That dead crow (positive for West Nile Virus) was picked up by my staff in the front-country foothills near the Santa Barbara city limits with Montecito (i.e., the northeast edge of Santa Barbara on the city side of the boundary).

As crows can fly a sufficiently long distance, specifying a location any more precise really is meaningless. The essential message is that this virus has been found for the first time this calendar year in Santa Barbara County and at a South Coast location.

About 4 weeks ago a positive crow was found in the middle of Ventura city, and earlier positive birds were found in eastern Ventura County and several throughout Los Angeles County.

The mosquito avoidance precautions noted in this news article remain good advice for everyone to reduce the likelihood of getting bitten by mosquitoes.

--David Pritchett, Interim General Manager for Mosquito & Vector Management District

DrMoskowitz said...

GenoMed, a genomics-based Disease Management company in St. Louis, has had encouraging results treating West Nile virus encephalitis since 2003.

We’ve had about 80% treatment success rate in people (23 of 29 improved) and horses (8 of 10 survived), and 50% in birds (6 of 12 survived). Our first 8 human WNV patients were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal in 2004 (1). This is sufficient for our treatment to officially exist in both the medical and legal senses.

The earlier our treatment is begun, the better the outcome.

Anybody who wants to download our WNV trial protocol can do so for free at any time by clicking on the "West Nile trial" link on our company’s homepage at

Dave Moskowitz MD
CEO & Chief Medical Officer
GenoMed, Inc. (Ticker symbol GMED on OTC Pink Sheets)
“The public health company™”

1. Moskowitz DW, Johnson FE. The central role of angiotensin I-converting enzyme in vertebrate pathophysiology. Curr Top Med Chem. 2004;4(13):1433-54. PMID: 15379656 (For PDF file, click on paper #6 at:

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a good idea to cull the Crow population.