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West Nile - When Should You Get Tested?

Most people who contract the disease get better, but it's best to know what you're dealing with.

Two people from Contra Costa have contracted West Nile Virus, and both are recovering, county health officials say. Due to privacy laws, the identity of those people cannot be revealed.

However, one Patch user has asked where one can get tested for West Nile Virus. The person called several health agencies trying to get information, to no avail.

“Apparently if you want to get tested for West Nile, it’s easier if you’re a dead bird,” the user said.

Victoria Balladares of Contra Costa Health Services said people who don’t have symptoms should not get tested. Those who do have symptoms – fever, headache, chills, swollen lymph nodes, rash and fatigue – should check with their health provider about getting a test.

“If you have those symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito,” she said, “you should ask your health provider for a West Nile test.”

Those who don’t have a provider should go to a community clinic, or the Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center. 

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