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Dead Ojai bird infected with West Nile virus

23 April 2004


OJAI - West Nile virus, the mosquito-borne disease that infects birds and can be fatal to humans, has arrived in Ventura County.

A dead wild bird found in Ojai earlier this month had the disease, Dr. Robert Levin, the county's chief health officer, said Wednesday. The virus was detected in a dead American crow found April 1 in Ojai and state health officials determined it had the disease.

"I think there's a reasonable chance we'll see some human cases in the county," Dr. Levin said. "It's not cause for panic. This is a naturally occurring phenomena."

West Nile has spread steadily westward since entering the United States through New York in 1999.

Eighty-two percent of people infected with the virus show no symptoms.