Skip to content
 > Home > Government > Media

Media Releases

West Nile Virus Detected in Mosquitoes and Sentinel Chickens

LAKEPORT, Calif. –West Nile virus was detected in two more mosquito samples and also in sentinel chickens in Lake County.
The sentinel chickens were in a flock near Upper Lake.  The mosquitoes, all Culex tarsalis (western encephalitis mosquito), were collected in traps set in Lower Lake and Upper Lake.  Earlier this summer positive mosquitoes were collected near Kelseyville and Upper Lake.
“When we see West Nile virus in sentinel chickens, that tells us that the conditions are right for human infections of West Nile virus,” said Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., District Manager and Research Director of the Lake County Vector Control District.  “The best protection from West Nile virus is prevention.  It’s important to avoid mosquito bites.”  
The District encourages residents to reduce their risk of contracting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases:
  • Dump or drain standing water to prevent mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle.
  • Defend yourself.  Use repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.  Follow the label directions.  
  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk
Chickens are used as sentinels for several mosquito-borne viruses because when an infected mosquito bites a chicken, the bird naturally resists the virus and develops antibodies that are detected in lab tests.  Mosquitoes are trapped throughout Lake County and tested for West Nile and other viruses.
This year, West Nile virus activity has been detected in four mosquito samples and four sentinel chickens in Lake County.  Statewide, 21 California counties have detected WNV this year, mainly in mosquitoes.  Through September 17, 2021, 46 cases of West Nile virus illness, including 4 fatalities, have been reported in California residents this year.  For more information about West Nile virus, visit

Lake County Vector Control District provides public health mosquito and vector control services to our community.  If you would like help with a mosquito problem, including reporting a neglected pool or spa, or have an in-ground yellowjacket nest on your property that you want treated, please contact the Lake County Vector Control District at (707) 263-4770 or submit a service request on their website at

West Nile Virus Map
West Nile Virus County Map

Wright Peak
Mt Konocti Park Meeting

Wednesday, October 20, Lake County Parks & Recreation will host a community meeting to solicit public input for potential improvements and increased recreational opportunities at Mount Konocti County Park.

Meeting info