A deadly virus returns to Stanislaus County. Why it’s back and how you can avoid it.

From The Modesto Bee

A mosquito sample in Stanislaus County tested positive for the St. Louis encephalitis virus, which is capable of causing a potentially deadly illness.

The mosquitoes infected with St. Louis encephalitis were southwest of Modesto in the Grayson area.

The St. Louis variety is similar to the West Nile virus and is carried by the same kind of mosquitoes. Like a West Nile infection, a person bitten by an infected mosquito may come down with encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, with headache, dizziness, confusion, seizures or paralysis.

Most people infected won’t feel sick but some will have mild flu-like symptoms, health officials said. Older people and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to getting the serious illness. No county residents are known to have come down with the St. Louis illness thus far.

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