By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Madera County health officials have reported a fatality from St. Louis Encephalitis Virus or SLEV. This is the first confirmed case in the state of California in 2020 and in Madera County since 1976.

Public domain image/National Atlas of the United States

The case is a male in his 90s.

“The risk for St. Louis Encephalitis remains low in Madera County, County health officer, Simon Paul said. You can decrease your risk by using EPA-registered repellent to keep mosquitoes from biting you, mosquito proofing your home through the use of properly fitting doors and screens and not allowing standing water to collect in your home or yard.”

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.