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Friday, September 21, 2012

West Nile Virus Makes Its Way to San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

click to enlarge First the government, now mosquitoes - ALVESGASPAR/WIKIMEDIA

September is one of the few months when San

Franciscans can actually enjoy warm weather. Unfortunately, we can't really relax and enjoy it: Those freeloading mosquitoes are sucking away that one small pleasure.

Health officials are warning residents to watch out for mosquitoes after they found a dead bird infected with West Nile Virus -- a pretty clear indication that the mosquito-born disease has made its way to our fair city. According to the Public Health Department, the bird was found on Sept. 11 near the main campus of City College.

This is the third San Francisco bird that's tested positive for the mosquito-born

disease since 2007. But don't hermetically seal yourself just yet -- so far no humans have been identified with the

disease, according to the Health Department.

"San Franciscans will be at risk for West Nile during the summer and

fall when mosquito activity is at its peak," said Rajiv Bhatia, medical

director for Environmental Health at the SFPDH. "West Nile Virus is

preventable and it

takes all of us working together to continue to keep ourselves and our

families protected."

The inviting September weather sets the stage for mosquitoes to multiply faster than gay men tanning at Dolores Park on a Saturday. All this mosquito breeding increases the chances that you'll get bitten by one of those blood-sucking bastards.

Health officials say that the West Nile Virus infection is on the rise throughout

California and across the nation. As of Sept. 18, there were 126 human cases of West Nile Virus in the state, including six deaths. Nationally, there have been 3,142 cases, including 134 fatalities, according to the US Centers for Disease Control, making this year the highest number

of cases reported year-to-date since 2003.

Almost 40 percent of the

nationally reported cases are from Texas -- yet one more reason not to leave California for the Lone Star state.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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