For Immediate Release: August 2, 2012
Orange County Confirms First Human West Nile Virus Case of 2012
(Santa Ana) – An Anaheim man in his twenties has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, becoming the County’s first confirmed human WNV infection in 2012.
The infection was identified through routine screening tests performed when the man recently donated blood. Donated blood is routinely screened for WNV infection to ensure the safety of the blood supply.
“Although West Nile Virus activity in Orange County has been quite low over the last few years, it is important 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, 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 or become seriously ill. About 20% of those infected with West Nile Virus will experience symptoms of West Nile fever, which may include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, tiredness, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash. Anyone who develops the more serious symptoms of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, such as severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness, or vision loss 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.
Information on mosquito control is available on the Orange County 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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