The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) it was announced today the first two deaths this summer due to West Nile virus (WNV) infection. The first was a senior citizen from Sacramento County. The second was an adult from Shasta County.
Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH Director and state public health officer said, “These unfortunate deaths remind us that we must protect ourselves from mosquito bites to prevent West Nile virus and other mosquito born infections. West Nile virus activity is greatest during the summertime.”
California has reported 16 new WNV infections, bringing the total to 35 cases from 10 counties year-to-date. The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 82 cases nationally, which do not include the new 16 California cases.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals – less than one percent – can develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. People 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications. Recent data also indicate that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page