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Health Officials Report Contra Costa County Man Infected With West Nile Virus

The Contra Costa Public Health officials announced today that the county’s first human case of West Nile virus of the year has been confirmed.

The case involved a man in his 60s from Central Contra Costa County, officials said.

The virus has already been identified in birds in Central and East Contra Costa County. 

[Previous: Third Confirmed Case of West Nile Virus in Contra Costa Found In Dead Crow.]

The Contra Costa resident was hospitalized, but has been released from the hospital and is recovering, said Erika Jenssen, Contra Costa Public Health’s Communicable Disease Programs Chief.

The virus is typically spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

There have been no fatalities related to West Nile virus in Contra Costa since 2006, and there are typically between three and five cases reported each year in Contra Costa.

In 2013, there were five human cases in the county and all recovered.

“The risk of becoming ill from the bite of a mosquito infected with West Nile virus is low. Most people who become infected will not develop symptoms and will not need to seek care,” Jenssen said. “However, in some cases, it can be very serious. This is a reminder that summer is here and it’s important to reduce the risk of West Nile virus by taking precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”

West Nile Virus symptoms are usually mild, such as fever, headache and body ache. However, people over 50 years of age and those with diabetes and/or 
hypertension may be more vulnerable to severe symptoms.

To avoid being bitten by mosquitos and infected with West Nile, people can take the following steps:

   ·    Avoid activity outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk.
   ·    When outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and other protective clothing.
   ·    Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 according to label instructions.
   ·    Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
   ·    Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding.

Contact Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work, including abandoned swimming
pools. Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473).

For more information about the West Nile virus, go to http://cchealth.org/westnile/ orhttp://westnile.ca.gov/
Chris Kapsalis June 20, 2014 at 05:46 PM
My wife says I am in West Nile Denial. But. I believe it is the most over rated risk reported by media in the US. More people die from bee stings. The Vast majority of people, even who get bit, never get it. And the Vast Majority of people who get infected never show any signs. AND, the vast majority of people who show signs, as in symptoms, which may be very mild to flu like, Never Die. So relax on the West Nile Hype. IMo of course.
Chris Kapsalis June 20, 2014 at 05:51 PM
It just has a scary name imo. If it was "the common flu" in which some 30,000 a year die? People are much less afraid of door nobs than seeing a dead bird. Why? You would think people would take every precaution imaginable to a true killer like the flu, from wearing gloves to masks, considering the deaths from the flu. But still, they do about mosquitoes. I hate them. Sure, empty standing water. They are a pest. But, nothing to worry about compared to other things. Even lightening strikes....

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