AUBURN, CALIF.– A Newcastle man has become the first confirmed human West Nile virus case in PlacerCountythis year, County health officials announced today. Confirmation testing by the State of Californiawas received by the County this week. The 57-year-old man is receiving care. In 2005, there were 35 human cases in the County.
Most of the WNV activity in the County this year has been WesternPlacerCounty, Rosevilleand Lincoln.
officials remind resident and visitors to protect themselves against being bitten by mosquitoes that transmit the disease.
"We know West Nilevirus is present in the County and we know virus activity increased in late summer last year," said Dr. Michael Mulligan, Assistant County Health Officer. "We want to remind all residents and visitors to remain diligent and take simple, common-sense precautions to protect themselves from the mosquitoes that carry the virus."
Most people who get West Nilevirus from infected mosquitoes won't become ill. But about 20 percent may experience mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms which may be prolonged. About one in 150 people will become very ill. People over 50 and people with suppressed or compromised immune systems are more likely to become seriously ill. West Nilevirus is rare, but people with symptoms, including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, should contact their health care provider immediately. In Californialast year, there were 935 human cases.
"Overall we are seeing less West Nilevirus activity in mosquitoes, birds, and sentinel chickens than last year at this time," said Jamesina J. Scott, Ph. D., vector ecologist for the Placer Mosquito Abatement District. "However the District still encourages residents to reduce their risk of contracting West Nile virus by eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed in their yards, avoiding outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and using an insect repellant that contains picaridin, DEET, or oil of lemon eucalyptus."
The Placer Mosquito Abatement District and Placer County Health and Human Services offer the following additional reminders to prevent the spread of West Nilevirus:
- Drain standing water weekly, since that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Check your yard for water in old tires, flower pots and bird baths.
- Avoid mosquito bites by staying indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long sleeves and long pants, and using an insect repellant that contains DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dead birds that test positive for West Nilevirus are a surveillance tool to help track the disease. If you find a dead bird, please call the state at 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) to report it, or do so online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
- Horses are vulnerable to West Nilevirus, and many die. Contact your veterinarian about protective immunizations. West Niledoes not spread between humans and horses.
If residents of PlacerCountyhave questions about West Nilevirus or mosquitoes, are having mosquito problems, or need mosquito fish, they should call us at the Placer Mosquito Abatement District at 916-435-2140 or visit our District’s website at www.placermosquito.org or www.placer.ca.gov/wnv.