Officials today confirmed a squirrel north of Menlo Park tested positive for the deadly West Nile Virus.
The animal’s death was first reported to the San Mateo County Mosquito Vector Control District on Oct. 10.
The squirrel tested positive for WNV chronic, which officials say indicates a low infection level, meaning the infection was not acquired this year and is "a lesser concern to public health officials."
It is the county’s 26th documented WNV case in animals this year and the third this month.
A north shoveler duck and house sparrow tested positive for WNV in cases reported in Foster City (Oct. 2) and Burlingame (Oct. 9).
Five of the 26 positive WNV tests have involved current infections that are of greater concern.
The latest documented case in San Mateo County follows the first reported WNV human death earlier today in San Bernardino County, the Los Angeles Times reports.
So far this year 4,531 WNV cases have been reported in humans according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are no known cases of humans contracting the WNV in the county this year.
All positive tests trigger an immediate deployment of mosquito traps at reported sites and surrounding areas, officials said.
No mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV this year.
Public health officials urge the public to dump all standing water and report dead bird or squirrel sightings by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD.
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