Kern County Woman dies from West Nile Virus

Mosquito - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that the first reported fatality of West Nile virus for California in 2012 occured. An 88-year old woman from Kern County died after becoming infected by the West Nile virus.
Dr. Ron Chapman, the Director of the CDPH said there was an increase in the West Nile virus activity that happened earlier in the year compared to the year before.

So far this year, there have been 10 humans who were infected with West Nile virus in California over five counties. Last year at this same time there was just seven humans infected with no deaths.

In 2011, there were 159 humans who were infected throughout the United States; nine of these people died. In 2012, there seems to be an increase nationwide of humans being infected. As of August 1, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that there have been 241 humans infected with West Nile virus this year so far. The rate has not been this high at this time of year since 2004.

West Nile virus is transmitted from an infected mosquito when it bites a human. The mosquitoes may have become infected from feeding on birds with the virus.

The infection is not serious in most people. However, in less than one percent of those infected, there is a risk of developing a serious neurological illness including encephalitis or meningitis. People over 50 years old are at an increased risk of becoming ill from a West Nile virus infection. Additionally, people with diabetes and/or hypertension are at an increased risk for developing serious symptoms if infected.

Chapman reminds residents to follow the three ‘D’s to avoid the West Nile virus.

The first ‘D’ is to Defend, which is to use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as DEET, picardin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.

The second ‘D’ is Dawn and Dusk, which means to use repellent and wear clothing to protect against mosquito bites at this time when the insects tend to be out the most.

The third ‘D’ is to Drain out standing water and eliminate sources of standing water on the property.

By: N Wilson

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