For Immediate Release: August 7, 2015
Contact: Deanne Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 714-834-2178
ORANGE COUNTY REPORTS FIRST HUMAN WEST NILE VIRUS CASE OF 2015
(Santa Ana) – A 51 year-old resident of the city of Orange tested positive this week for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, becoming the County’s first human WNV infection in 2015. This is the 19th human case of WNV reported in California this year. The man experienced symptoms during the third week of July and has completely recovered.
In 2014, Orange County reported the highest number of human infections of West Nile virus in the nation with 280, including nine deaths. OCMVCD uses more than 10 years of sampling data collected during routine monitoring and testing of mosquitoes, dead birds, and human infections to determine areas of greater risk throughout the county.
To date in 2015, OCMVCD confirmed West Nile virus-positive test results from the City of Anaheim, City of Cypress, City of Fullerton, City of Huntington Beach, City of Orange, City of San Juan Capistrano, City of Santa Ana, City of Tustin, and City of Yorba Linda. So far this year, OCMVCD has reported a total of 81 positive mosquito samples and ten dead birds. There are no reported human cases at this time. A total list of all positives can be found at www.ocvcd.org.
“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, County Health Officer. “The best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.”
Recommended WNV precautions include:
- Emptying all standing water on your property to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed, including flower pots and pet bowls
- Making sure your window and door screens are in good condition
- Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535, always following label directions
- Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus do not experience symptoms, but about 20% will develop fever and may have headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness and sometimes a skin rash. More serious symptoms, such as severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness or paralysis, occur more rarely, but people who develop these symptoms should seek medical care immediately. People over 50 years of age and those with certain medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from WNV infection.
Contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District to report dead birds or neglected pools. 714-971-2421 or 949-654-2421 or www.ocvcd.org.
Information on mosquito control is available on the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District’s website at www.ocvcd.org. Other websites with helpful information about West Nile Virus include:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov
- State of California www.westnile.ca.gov
- Orange County Health Care Agency www.ochealthinfo.com
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