After leading the nation in human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in 2014 with 801, California appears to be headed for another brutal WNV season. During the past week, 18 cases were seen, with 10 of them from Butte County.

This brings the total case count to 36 from 10 counties. One WNV-related fatality has been reported in Nevada County in July.

Of the 36 case-patients, 24 (67%) had neuroinvasive illness. The median age of the 36 individuals is 55 years (range: 5-91 years); 24 (67%) are male. Dates of symptom onset ranged from May 15 to August 1.

In addition, ten asymptomatic WNV-positive blood donors have been reported this year from four counties.

Although the numbers are typically lagging from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of August 11, 2015, a total 141 cases of West Nile virus disease in people from 27 states have been reported to CDC. Nationally, 3 deaths have been reported top date.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today

Follow @bactiman63

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West Nile virus
Culex quinquefasciatus