By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
San Diego health officials reported a 61-year-old man from Alpine has been confirmed to be the first person in the county in 2020 to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
The man was hospitalized, tested and the California Department of Public Health confirmed the case Aug. 11. He has recovered.
The man said he had traveled to Yuma, Arizona where it is believed he contracted the virus.
There were only three human cases of West Nile virus in San Diego County in 2019 and two in 2018.
In Los Angeles County, officials reported the first death due to WNV for the 2020 season. The patient, an elderly resident of the South Los Angeles area, was hospitalized and died from WNV-associated neuro-invasive disease.
Humans get WNV through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus; therefore, most people bitten by a mosquito are not exposed to WNV. Those who do get WNV may experience mild symptoms including fever, muscle aches, and tiredness. In some cases, especially in persons over 50 years of age and those with chronic medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes, severe WNV infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord causing meningitis, encephalitis, and paralysis. There is no specific treatment for WNV disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.
According to the California Mosquito-borne Virus Surveillance and Response Program, 18 human cases of WNV have been reported with the majority of cases reported in Stanislaus County (11). One WNV related death has been reported.
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