CHA News Article

First 2017 Case of West Nile Illness Reported in California

Last week, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) confirmed the first illness due to West Nile virus in California. Earlier this year, West Nile virus was found in three dead birds in San Mateo, Orange and San Diego counties. The virus is transmitted to humans and animals via a bite from an infected mosquito. Heavy rains during the winter have contributed to a rise in mosquito breeding sites; thus far, West Nile activity is within expected levels. Though the risk of serious illness from West Nile virus is low, some individuals — including people 50 years of age or older as well as individuals with diabetes or hypertension — are more susceptible to complications from the virus. CDPH recommends that individuals protect against mosquito bites by applying insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535; wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during dawn and dusk, which tend to be periods of heightened mosquito activity; and eliminate all sources of standing water on their properties. More information is available on California’s West Nile virus website