news-details

A Tustin woman in her 70s is the first to be diagnosed with West Nile Virus in Orange County this year, the county’s health care agency said Wednesday Aug. 8.

The agency said there were 38 reported infections and four deaths in 2017 due to West Nile Virus infections in Orange County.

According to the California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles and Riverside counties have reported three human cases each this year.

Related: It’s supposed to be a ‘mild’ year in Orange County for West Nile virus, but you should still take precautions

A majority of those who become infected with the virus don’t experience symptoms. But about 20 percent will develop fever and may experience symptoms such as headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness and sometimes, a skin rash.

Severe symptoms include neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness and paralysis. Those who are over 50 and with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from a West Nile Virus infection.

West Nile Virus is “endemic in Orange County” and is a recurring phenomenon every year particularly during the summer and fall months, said Dr. Eric Handler, the county’s health officer.

“The best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites,” he said.

Here are some of the measures recommended by the health agency to prevent infections:

— Empty all standing water on your property and reduce areas that might become breeding ground for mosquitoes including flower pots and pet bowls.

— Install door and window screens and make sure they are in good condition.

— Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535.

— Limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, particularly when mosquitoes are most active.

— Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

For more information, go to ochealthinfo.com/westnilevirus

Related Posts