The human West Nile virus (WNV) situation in California continues into mid-November with additional cases and fatalities.

Public domain image/National Atlas of the United States
Public domain image/National Atlas of the United States

The number of WNV associated deaths rose by three as Kern County (1) and Los Angeles (2) reported fatalities, bring the state total to 27.

In addition, the human case count increased by 19 during the past week bring the total to 752, more than three times the 5-year-average (226) and double last years count at this time (356).

New cases were reported from Fresno (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (11), Orange (3), San Bernardino (1), Stanislaus (1), and Sutter (1).

Nationally, as of November 18, 1,935 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of that total, 71 resulted in death.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. For most people, the risk of serious illness 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 or older and people with diabetes and/or high blood pressure have the greatest risk of developing serious complications.

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