Yolo County reports first human case of West Nile Virus this year

A Yolo County resident became ill with West Nile Virus last month and is now recovering.

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A Yolo County resident became ill with West Nile Virus last month and is now recovering, the county reported Saturday.

This is the first human case of the mosquito-borne virus documented in the county this year. Statewide, at least 16 counties have reported human West Nile cases, affecting around 60 people. Since 2003, there have been 7,000 confirmed human cases and more than 300 deaths, according to the state.

Yolo County officials did not provide additional details about the local case, including city of residence, but West Nile activity has been found in mosquito samples and dead birds throughout the county, including in the city of Davis.

The virus is transmitted to people via the bite of infected mosquitoes, making mosquito control key to preventing spread of the illness.

Dr. Mary Ann Limbos, the county’s deputy public health officer, said Saturday the county resident diagnosed with West Nile “is now recovering,” but said the risk of contracting West Nile Virus in the county at this time of year remains.

“Even though the summer season is coming to an end, our weather continues to support an environment for mosquitoes,” Limbos said.

“By making regular checks of their yards and draining standing water, residents can help cut down on mosquito breeding areas,” she added.

“Precautions such as wearing protective clothing and using insect repellents that contain DEET will also reduce the risk of mosquito bites.”

People typically develop symptoms of West Nile between two and 14 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito, according to the county.

While 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms, up to 20 percent of those infected will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.

Symptoms can last for a few days or several weeks, even for generally healthy people, the county reported.

Approximately one in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop severe illness that may include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis, according to public health officials.

These symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent. People over the age of 50, and those who have diabetes or hypertension, are more likely to develop serious symptoms of West Nile Virus and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites, Limbos said.

Additionally, the vector control district has been performing extensive control measures in and around Yolo County to reduce both larval and adult mosquitoes, and will continue to do so to minimize adult mosquitoes carrying the disease, the county said.

For additional resources and information, visit www.fightthebite.net.

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