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What are the health risks if bitten by a mosquito?

San Diegans are noticing more mosquitos. Last week San Diego County says a dead crow tested positive for West Nile virus.

SAN DIEGO — We all know San Diego is a great place to spend time outdoors but right now you might be noticing that the mosquitoes are relentless.

Not only are itchy mosquito bites a nuisance they can be risks to your health.

Last week the county reported a dead crow tested positive for the West Nile virus in La Mesa.

Still, the chair of Infectious Disease at Kaiser Permanente San Diego, Dr. Shweta Warner, says there is not a high risk of contracting the virus.

“It's a low likely you will develop West Nile virus,” said Warner. “The CDC says eight out of ten patients that contract West Nile virus will be asymptotic.”

Dr. Warner says only 20 percent of West Nile virus patients show flu-like symptoms and less than one percent of patients, most patients who are young, elderly or have an autoimmune disease will have a severe reaction.

“It depends on the viral load that you were inoculated with so if you perhaps got more bites, you are more likely to develop West Nile virus,” said Warner.

The county says so far this year West Nile virus has not been found in humans or mosquitoes and adds that although the infected crow was found in La Mesa, it doesn't mean that area is at higher risk, birds can fly anywhere. 

The county says it regularly applies mosquito larvicide and the next application is on September 20.

To prevent mosquito bites, doctors recommend you wear long sleeves and pants.

And the myth about taking vitamin B Complex to repel mosquitoes is just that, a myth.

“That's not a typical thing that we would recommend to repel mosquitoes, I think using an insect repellent would be the best method,” said Warner.

And why some people get eaten alive more than others by the pesky insects remains a mystery.

“I think that's a very common question and we don't necessarily know. It may be more temporal,” said Warner. “I don't necessarily know if there is anything inherent that predisposes us to mosquito bites.”

If you are not feeling well after a mosquito bite, it's recommended that you call your doctor.

To prevent mosquitos from lurking in your home and outside, check for standing water. Wash off any pooling water from a pool cover, empty water from toys and flower pot saucers and other standing water.

The county says people may report increased mosquito activity, or stagnant, green swimming pools and other mosquito-breeding sources, as well as dead birds — dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks and owls — to environmental health’s vector control program by calling (858) 694-2888 or emailing vector@sdcounty.Ca.Gov.

WATCH RELATED: Aftermath of tropical storm Hilary brings conditions for mosquito breeding

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