State confirms first two human West Nile virus deaths of 2018; cases in Glenn, Yuba counties

From the Lake County News
September 11, 2018

The California Department of Public Health reported that there are two confirmed deaths in California due to West Nile virus.

The deceased persons were residents of Glenn and Yuba counties.

“We are still in a peak period of West Nile virus transmission in the state so we urge everyone to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said CDPH Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

As of September 7, CDPH has reported 56 human cases of WNV from 21 California counties this year. 

Additionally, 422 dead birds from 18 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2018, and 1,606 mosquito samples from 28 counties have also tested positive for WNV this year.

The only WNV detected in Lake County so far this year have been four mosquito samples and one sentinel chicken, state officials reported.

West Nile virus is influenced by many factors, including climate, the number and types of birds and mosquitoes in an area, and the level of WNV immunity in birds. 

It virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than 1 percent – can develop serious neurologic illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People 60 years of age and older and individuals with diabetes or hypertension have a higher chance of getting sick, and are more likely to develop complications.

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