A 43-year-old Santee man has the first confirmed local case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2014, the County Health and Human Services Agency reported today. This is the first local human case since 2012, according to a San Diego County News Center report Monday.
The man had no symptoms, but the virus was detected during routine screening of blood he had donated earlier this month. The man did not recall any recent mosquito bites, but he had been camping outside the state the week before his blood was drawn.
The County’s Department of Environmental Health Vector Control Program is inspecting for potential mosquito breeding locations near the man’s home and setting up mosquito monitoring traps in the surrounding areas of Santee.
“Even though it’s most likely this individual acquired West Nile outside of the county, we know the virus is here in San Diego County,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County Public Health Officer. “Vector Control collected a dead crow reported by the public in the City of San Diego last week that has also tested positive for West Nile.
“It’s important for the public to know West Nile virus is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease.” Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available
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 1 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.
The California Department of Public Health says 15 human cases from 6 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. At least 33 California counties have reported WNV activity to date. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page