Two Hu­man WNV Cases Con­firmed In County

The Oakdale Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

A 53-year-old fe­male and a 64-year-old male are the first con­firmed hu­man West Nile Virus (WNV) in­fec­tions in Stanis­laus County this year.

The an­nounce­ment was made dur­ing the past week by Dr. Julie Vaisham­payan, Public Health Of­fi­cer for Stanis­laus County. Both were di­ag­nosed with neu­ro­logic dis­ease.

WNV is most com­monly trans­mit­ted to peo­ple and an­i­mals through the bite of a mos­quito in­fected with the virus. Hot weather, aban­doned swim­ming pools and stand­ing water cre­ate ideal con­di­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of mos­qui­toes and the sub­se­quent spread of the virus.

Most peo­ple who are in­fected with WNV will not ex­pe­ri­ence any ill­ness. About one in five peo­ple will de­velop West Nile Fever with symp­toms of headache, fever and fa­tigue. How­ever, some peo­ple – less than one per­cent – will de­velop 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 se­ri­ous ill­ness when in­fected with WNV. Stud­ies also in­di­cate that those with di­a­betes and/or hy­per­ten­sion are at great­est risk for se­ri­ous ill­ness.

“It is very im­por­tant that peo­ple take pre­cau­tions to pro­tect them­selves and their fam­i­lies from mos­quito bites,” ad­vised Dr. Vaisham­payan.

Public Health rec­om­mends that in­di­vid­u­als pre­vent ex­po­sure to mos­quito bites and WNV by fol­low­ing the “Four Ds”:

DEET – Ap­ply in­sect re­pel­lent con­tain­ing DEET, pi­caridin, oil of le­mon eu­ca­lyp­tus or IR 3535 ac­cord­ing to la­bel in­struc­tions to keep mos­qui­toes from bit­ing you. Ap­ply re­pel­lents only to ex­posed skin and/ or cloth­ing. DEET can be used safely on in­fants and chil­dren two months of age and older.

DAWN AND DUSK – Mos­qui­toes that carry WNV tend to bite in the early morn­ing and even­ing so it is im­por­tant to wear re­pel­lent at this time. Make sure that your doors and win­dows have tight-fit­ting screens to keep out mos­qui­toes. Re­pair or re­place screens with tears or holes.

DRESS – Wear cloth­ing that re­duces the risk of skin ex­po­sure to mos­quito bites (i.e., long pants and longsleeved shirts).

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 have a pond, use mos­quito fish or com­mer­cially avail­able prod­ucts to elim­i­nate mos­quito lar­vae. Ne­glected swim­ming pools are also prime places for mos­quito breed­ing. The East Side and Tur­lock Mos­quito Abate­ment Districts are avail­able to help with ne­glected pools in the preven­tion of mos­quito de­vel­op­ment. To re­quest District ser­vice, call 209-522-4098 East Side and 209-634-1234 for Tur­lock or visit the District web­sites at http://www.east­side­mosquito.com/ or http://www. tur­lock­mosquito.org/.

Re­sources for Ad­di­tional In­for­ma­tion on West Nile Virus are: Stanis­laus County Public Health web­site, http://www.schsa.org/Pub­licHealth/ and the Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Public Health WNV web­site, www. west­nile.ca.gov. This web­site in­cludes the lat­est in­for­ma­tion on WNV ac­tiv­ity in the state.

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