West Nile Virus Hits San Joaquin
San Joaquin County Public Health Officer, Dr. Alvaro Garza, confirmed that a 70-year-old male living in Manteca is the first human with West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in San Joaquin County this year. So far this year, at least four other counties have reported four other cases of WNV in humans.
“Even though the virus has been around a long time now, this first reported case reminds us that we must all continue to take precautions to protect ourselves and our families from mosquito bites,” said Dr. Garza. WNV activity is greatest during the summertime.
WNV is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than 1 percent – can develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. People 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications. Recent data also indicate that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.
Public Health Services recommend that people prevent exposure to mosquito bites and WNV by practicing the “Three Ds”:
1. DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older.
2. Dawn and dusk – Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tightfitting screens to keep mosquitoes out. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
3. Drain – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito and vector control agency. The San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District is available to help with the prevention of mosquitoes in neglected pools and respond to other mosquito problems in your area. To request District service, call 209-982-4675, 1-800300-4675 or visit the District website at www.sjmosquito.org.
Resources for Additional Information on West Nile virus are:
San Joaquin County Public Health Services website, www.sjcphs.org,
California Department of Public Health West Nile Virus website, www.westnile.ca.gov. This website includes the latest information on West Nile Virus activity in the state.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html