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West Nile on the decline in Santa Clara County

Cool weather is considered a cause of sudden drop in infected bird cases

The Bay Area's coolest summer temperatures in 40 years have had at least one fringe benefit: The number of West Nile Virus cases in birds have dropped despite a significant rise early in the season, according to Santa Clara County Vector Control officials.

"The county hasn't found a virus-positive mosquito since July 13," said Russ Parman, acting district manager for Santa Clara County Vector Control District.

The district also recently completed three pesticide-fogging regimens in disease-prone areas within the county, he said.

The disease seemed to be on the rise earlier in the year, when officials found 23 infected birds compared to 14 for all of last year, he said. But surveillance has indicated the cool down has been good for keeping the virus at bay.

Parman warned that August and September are still peak months for people to contract the disease.

Statewide, 12 people have contracted West Nile, compared to five people last year. So far, there are no human cases in Santa Clara County, he said. Persons with diabetes and people older than 50 are most at risk if death if they contract the virus, he said.

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