By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Imperial County Health Department reported this week of two human St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) cases, the first reported in California in 2019.


Both patients from El Centro were admitted to a local hospital in late July presenting with severe headache, fever and nausea, and were diagnosed with viral meningitis.

In addition, an additional West Nile virus (WNV) case was reported. All three patients are home recuperating in El Centro.

St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) is transmitted from birds to man and other mammals by infected mosquitoes (mainly some Culex species). SLE is found throughout the United States, but most often along the Gulf of Mexico, especially Florida.

Most persons infected with SLEV have no apparent illness. Initial symptoms of those who become ill include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Severe neuroinvasive disease (often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) occurs more commonly in older adults. In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat SLE.