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3 new cases of West Nile virus reported in San Bernardino County

Three men in San Bernardino County have tested positive recently for West Nile virus, the county’s Department of Public Health said Wednesday.

A 71-year-old in Colton, a 57-year-old in Fontana and a 65-year-old in Redlands have contracted the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes that bite infected birds. One additional case has been reported so far this year in San Bernardino, the department said.

Workers with the county Mosquito and Vector Control Program are looking for mosquito breeding areas and will capture and test the insects to see how far the virus has spread. Officials say residents should drain or dump standing water in such places as birdbaths and  unused swimming pools.

People should also avoid the possibility of mosquito bites by staying indoors at dawn and dusk; wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light-colored; using insect repellent when outdoors; and making sure doors and windows are closed tightly.

Horses are also susceptible to the virus, so owners are advised to make sure their animals are vaccinated against it.

-- Rick Rojas

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