August 17, 2009
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reports the second confirmed human case of West Nile virus (WNV) for 2009.
A 49-year-old male was hospitalized after developing symptoms consistent with WNV infection. The man did not acquire the virus locally.
“We continue to urge the public to take appropriate precautions to protect against contracting West Nile Virus,” said Wilma Wooten, County of San Diego Public Health Officer.
“Even though this case was not acquired locally, we are in the time of the year when the virus is usually most active in San Diego County.”
People should avoid outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Other precautions include wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors; ensuring that windows and doors have tight fitting screens without holes or tears; and not sleeping outside, unprotected while camping.
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Most people infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms or become seriously ill. Nearly one in five who do fall ill may suffer from headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands. The risk of complications increases for those over age 50, and those who have weakened immune systems. In 2008, 35 people tested positive for locally-acquired WNV in San Diego County.
HHSA is working closely with the County Department of Environmental (DEH) Health Vector Control Program, which continues its mosquito surveillance and control activities to check for and eradicate possible sources of the mosquito breeding. According to DEH, for the first time this year, two chickens from the Oceanside sentinel flock located near Buena Vista lagoon tested positive for WNV. Additionally, one raven from Linda Vista tested positive.
For more information or to report dead birds, please call the County’s WNV information line toll free at (888) 551-INFO (4636) or visit the County Web site at www.SDFighttheBite.com.
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