State urges caution after first human West Nile case
The first human case of West Nile virus in the state this year caused the California Department of Health Services to issue a warning.
Nevada County has not reported any cases of the virus in birds, animals or humans yet this year, according to the state health department, but the season is starting.
The first case was a 21-year-old Kern County woman who recently tested positive for the disease after having classic symptoms that included fever, headache and body ache. The woman was not hospitalized, which is the case with most humans who catch West Nile from a mosquito bite.
About one in 150 people infected will get extremely ill with migraine-like headaches, nausea, disorientation, and sometimes, coma and death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 20 percent get a harsh flu-like illness for several weeks, and most show no symptoms at all.
But the possibility of serious illness has the state asking residents to tack caution by:
– Dumping out standing water on your property to prevent mosquito breeding.
– Using insect repellent with DEET in it, particularly at dawn and dusk.
– Making sure all your window and door screens are tight and repaired if there are holes.
So far this year, 60 cases have been reported in the state in 57 birds, two horses and the aforementioned human case, according to the state health department. Horses are particularly vulnerable to the disease but veterinarians have vaccine for it.
If you find a dead bird or squirrel on your property, do not pick it up with your bare hands. Instead, call the Nevada County Community Health Services Department at 265-1450 for instructions.
The state also asks a call be made to its health department at 1-877-968-2473. You can also visit the state’s West Nile virus at http://www.westnile.ca.gov for more information.
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