West Nile Virus Cases Found in Yolo County

West Sacramento, CA  |  By Beth Gabor, Public Information Officer

First confirmed human cases this year

Yolo County, CA (MPG) - The Yolo County Health Department has received confirmation of two cases of West Nile virus infection in humans in Yolo County.  Two adult residents in different areas of Yolo County are critically ill and currently hospitalized.

“The serious illness of these Yolo County residents from West Nile virus is tragic and reminds us all of the need to protect ourselves and our families from mosquitoes,” said Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman, M.D.  “West Nile virus is spread to people from the bite of mosquitoes.  By making regular checks of their yards and draining standing water, people can help cut down on mosquito breeding areas.  Precautions such as wearing protective clothing and using bug repellents that contain DEET will also reduce the risk of mosquito bites.  Even though the summer season is coming to an end, our weather continues to support an environment for mosquitos.”

People typically develop symptoms of West Nile virus between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito.  While 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected will not show any symptoms, up to 20 percent who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.  Symptoms can last for as short as a few days or several weeks, even for generally healthy people.

About 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness.  There symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.  These symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.  People over the age of 50, and those who have diabetes or hypertension are more likely to develop serious symptoms of West Nile virus and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites.

The best way to prevent West Nile virus infection and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent the bite of an infected mosquito.  Following the 7 Ds decreases the risk of mosquito bites:

DRAIN any standing water that may produce mosquitoes.

DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid.  These are the times when mosquitoes are most active.

DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors.

DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes by using an effective insect repellent, such as DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.  Make sure you follow all label directions!

DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition.  This will prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

DISTRICT personnel are available to address any mosquito problem you may be experiencing by calling 1-800-429-1022.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District has been performing extensive control measures in and around Yolo County to reduce both larval and adult mosquitoes, and will continue to do so to minimize adult mosquitoes carrying the disease.

For additional information on West Nile virus, visit the websites below or contact the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District at 1-800-429-1022.

The mission of the Yolo County Health Department is to protect and enhance the health and safety of the residents of Yolo County.

Additional Resources:

Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District: www.fightthebite.net

Yolo County Health Department: www.yolohealth.org

California West Nile Virus Surveillance Information Center: www.westnile.ca.gov

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: www.cdc.gov/westnile