West Nile Virus Spreads In LA's South Bay, First OC Case Report - KMSP-TV

West Nile Virus Spreads In LA's South Bay, First OC Case Reported

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Santa Ana, CA -

A Cypress woman who became the first person in Orange County to contract West Nile virus this year was recovering at home today, according to public health officials.

The woman in her 60s tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus in mid-July, Nicole Stanfield of the Orange County Health Care Agency said.

The woman, whose name was not made public, was hospitalized in July but is now at home, she said. The county recorded 48 cases of West Nile Virus last year, and two patients died, Stanfield said.

The first local case was reported on Aug. 2 in 2012.

Last week, a 78-year-old Carson man died from the virus -- the first person to die from from West Nile Virus in Los Angeles County this year. "West Nile Virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall,'' said Dr. Eric G.
Handler, the county's health officer. "The best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.

West Nile Virus is typically a bigger threat to the very young and very old. Many infected people do not notice the flu-like symptoms, but about 20 percent get a fever, headaches, body aches, nausea, fatigue and sometimes a skin rash. More serious symptoms include migraines, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness or paralysis.

Less than one in 150 people bitten by an infected mosquito get severely sick. In rare cases, the virus causes encephalitis or even death.

Experts recommend the following tips:

  • Avoid outdoor activities around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors
  • Apply insect repellents containing active ingredients such as DEET
  • Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out and...
  • Eliminate all sources of standing water around their homes and...
  • Properly maintain ornamental ponds, pools and spas.
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