Two in Orange County are ill with cases of West Nile virus
A man and a women are hospitalized officials say. Two others are infected but have no symptoms.
By My-Thuan Tran, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Two Orange County residents are sick with West Nile virus, the first illness know to have been caused by the virus in Southern California this year, health officials said Friday. Two other residents also have been infected by the virus but have not shown symptoms.
An 80 year-old AnaheimMan who fell ill in early July and a 49 year old central Orange County woman who became sick in late June remain hospitalized, said Orange County Health care Agency spokesman Howard Sutter. The woman’s infection may have been acquired outside the county, he said.
The announcement brings the number of Orange County residents infected with the virus to four.
On Thursday, Orange County health officials reported that two central Orange County men had tested positive for the virus. Those men, ages 23 and 41, recently donated blood and were identified thru screening test, Sutters said. Neither man has symptoms, so they were not considered to have the disease he said.
So far this year, the State Department of Public Health has reported six human cases of the virus in Anaheim, Fullerton, Orange County.The first was reported last month When a Tulare County woman was hospitalized.
Since the first cases in California were reported in 2003, 76 people have died in the state from West Nile virus, including 21 last year, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Last year 10 people in Orange County tested positive for the virus. All but one showed symptoms of the disease.
Humans and animals contract the virus from bites of infected mosquitoes, which contract it by feeding on birds that have the virus in their blood.
The virus is most prevalent from May to October, when mosquitoes are abundant.
West Nile virus appeared in Los Angeles County in may, when two dead crows tested positive for the disease. Riverside County officials said last month that health officials there had collected mosquitoes infected with the virus in Hemmet and Murrieta and in the Lake Skinner and Nuevo areas.
Most people who become infected with the virus do not develop symptoms or become seriously ill. But the nearly one in five who are sickened symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea, tiredness, swollen glands or skin rash.
Deaths from the virus are rare, but the risk of complications increases for people over age 50 who may have preexisting health ailments and weakened immune symptoms.
Officials recommend taking these precautions against mosquito bite:
- Make sure your windows and doors have screens that are in good condition.
- Empty standing water on your property.
- Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts, Especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use insect repellent, DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil or IR 3535.
For the latest information on the virus reach California, visit www.westnile.ca.gov
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