Carla B. Hass

(530) 621-4609


(PLACERVILLE, CA) – El Dorado County health officials received confirmation that the first human case of West Nile virus was reported in the greater Placerville area of the West Slope of El Dorado County, the first for 2020. So far this year, West Nile virus activity has been detected in 46 humans in 12 California counties.  For 2020, all dead birds have tested negative for West Nile virus in El Dorado County. 


West Nile virus can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitoes get the virus when they feed on infected birds. The illness is not spread from person-to-person. While most people infected with the virus show no symptoms, some may have high fever, severe headache, tiredness and/or a stiff neck that can last several days to several weeks. The most serious cases of West Nile virus infection can lead to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal.  


Mosquito surveillance programs are in place throughout the County. Activities include trapping and identifying mosquitoes, treating neglected swimming pools, and reporting and testing dead birds. Medical providers are required to report all cases of West Nile virus to the El Dorado County Public Health Division, which will coordinate with the Environmental Management Department to investigate the geographic area (if available) for surveillance activities.

The following tips are given to help prevent West Nile virus:

  • Drain standing water around the property and keep water in swimming pools, ponds and water troughs circulating or treated with "Mosquito Dunks" or mosquito fish.
  • Apply insect repellent that contains DEET or another approved substance (e.g. picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535) on exposed skin when outdoors.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors among mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight fitting screens, kept in good condition.
  • Report dead birds and tree squirrels to the State West Nile Virus hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at  Wear gloves and place the dead bird or squirrel in a double plastic bag if you dispose of it yourself.

Mosquito problems and neglected swimming pools should be reported to the Environmental Management Department at (530) 621-5300 on the West Slope or (530) 573-3450 in South Lake Tahoe. Additional West Nile virus information can be found at or


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