Los Angeles Times
County records year’s first death from West Nile virus
L.A. health officials have so far counted 10 cases. There is no treatment or vaccine.
Los Angeles County health officials have reported the county’s first death this year due to West Nile virus.
The patient, a resident of the eastern region of the
county, was hospitalized and died from a neuroinvasive disease associated with the virus, officials said Friday. No further information was given about the individual or the date of death.
County officials have documented 10 cases this year, excluding Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own health departments. The state reported its first West Nile virus-related death in July in San Luis Obispo County.
The mosquito-borne virus is common in California in summer and early fall. Most people who become infected don’t experience symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but some may experience fever, muscle aches and tiredness. In severe cases, especially in people older than 50 and those with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, the virus can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing meningitis, encephalitis and paralysis.
Last year, there were seven deaths attributed to West Nile in L.A. County.
There is no treatment or vaccine for West Nile virus. Public health officials recommend applying insect repellent or lemon eucalyptus oil, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors and clearing out standing water from objects that might attract mosquitoes, such as flowerpots or buckets.