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Thread: keep your bug spray handy

  1. #1
    Valley man dies of West Nile virus
    BY SUSAN ABRAM, Staff Writer
    Article Last Updated: 08/17/2007 11:17:05 AM PDT
    A San Fernando Valley man in his 80s is the first to die this year of West Nile virus in Los Angeles County, health officials said today.
    The man, whose identity was unknown, suffered from other chronic health problems, so health officials said they do not know the extent to which the virus contributed to his death.
    Two other San Fernando Valley residents have been infected with the virus, though they are recovering, health officials said. An additional resident from Los Angeles, also has been confirmed.
    "The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of complications and death from West Nile Virus than others," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Director of Public Health.
    The San Fernando Valley has become this year's West Nile virus hotbed, vector control officials have said, and California's rate of human infections lead the nation.
    The virus is passed on to humans by infected mosquitos.
    Health officials recommend residents of all ages to take precautions, such as avoiding mosquitoes, removing pools of stagnant water around their homes, and using a repellant containing DEET when outdoors in mosquito prone areas, especially around dawn or dusk.

  2. #2
    ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. -- A 30-year-old Anaheim man and a 21-year-old Fullerton woman became the first Orange County residents to fall ill this year from West Nile Virus, health officials announced Friday.
    The only other case identified in the county so far was that of a 44-year-old man from south Orange County who never felt sick, but found out while giving blood that he had been infected with the virus, probably several weeks earlier.
    One of the latest victims became ill in mid-July with the virus' symptoms, but was not hospitalized and is recovering at home.
    Howard Sutter of the Health Care Agency said the man most likely acquired the virus outside Orange County because he was traveling during the incubation period, which can be from three to up to 14 days after infection.
    The woman, who was hospitalized and is now recovering at home, did not travel and likely was infected with the virus in the county, he said.
    Both got the mildest version of the illness, referred to as West Nile fever, Sutter said.
    So far in California, 110 people in 19 counties are known to have fallen ill with the virus, and five fatalities have been reported. Last year, there were seven confirmed human cases in Orange County, and no fatalities. Statewide, there were 278 cases and seven deaths in 2006.
    "It is important for the community to recognize that West Nile virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall," said Dr. Eric G. Handler, the county's health officer. "The best way to avoid West Nile virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites."
    Recommended precautions include removing standing water, keeping window and door screens in good condition, using repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk and wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants when outdoors.
    Most people infected with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms or become seriously ill.
    Up to 20 percent will experience some symptoms that may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness and sometime swollen lymph glands or a skin rash.
    Anyone who develops the more serious symptoms of West Nile, such as severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness or vision loss, should seek medical care immediately, Sutter said.
    People older than 50 years old and those with certain medical conditions are at increased risk for complications, he said.

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