The first human case of the West Nile virus infection for 2015 was reported in Los Angeles County, prompting county officials to take preventative measures against the infections. Cases of the West Nile Virus have been popping up in multiple counties across California.
SCVNews reports that so far this year, the Greater of Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has confirmed the West Nile Virus infection for 31 mosquito samples, one chicken, and a dead bird.
The West Nile virus is an infection spread by mosquitoes, who become infected by feeding off birds who carry the virus. Most humans who contract the infection will not become sick, or will develop very mild symptoms including fever, nausea, skin rash, and an aching body. These symptoms can last between 5 to 15 days.
The patient, a young man, was hospitalized for the virus in mid-July after severe symptoms began to develop. Since then, he has been released and is recovering at home.
Susanne Kluh, GLACVD’s director of Scientific Technical Services, explains, “West Nile virus activity is definitely picking up.”
The GLACVD has continued to monitor virus activity in the Los Angeles County area by testing mosquito samples for the virus. They advise that residents of the area should avoid standing water, where mosquitoes can breed. Stay inside during dusk and dawn, and be sure to wear pants and shirts with long sleeves.
“We hope residents heed these warnings and help us reduce our risk,” says Kluh.
While only one in 150 people with the virus get severely ill, the West Nile Virus can create complications for those with weak immune systems. The more severe symptoms of the virus are high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, coma, and possibly even death. If you or someone you know are experiencing these systems, call your doctor or visit a local urgent care center. In the U.S., there are approximately 6,800 urgent care centers, most of which are located in freestanding buildings.