West Nile Virus returns: Health officials say first ‘locally acquired’ case of virus reported in High Desert

From the Victorville Daily Press
September 16, 2018

APPLE VALLEY — The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health has announced the first “locally acquired” human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) reported in the High Desert.

The recent local reported case of the virus is unlike the one encountered in 2013, when it was suspected the WNV infection was “acquired outside” of the region, health department officials announced Friday.

“West Nile Virus can cause a serious illness in humans, therefore I urge residents to take precautions to protect themselves against mosquito bites” said County Health Officer Doctor Maxwell Ohikhuare.

Area hospitals were aware of the county’s announcement, with St. Joseph Health, St. Mary spokesman Randy Bevilacqua telling the Daily Press that the Apple Valley medical facility is informing its staff and physicians about the health threat and preparing to take further action if directed to by the health department.

The WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, with signs and symptoms including fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. The most effective way to avoid WNV infection is to prevent mosquito bites, officials said.

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