By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Los Angeles County health officials are reporting the first human West Nile virus (WNV) cases of the year. Two cases have been reported–one is a neuroinvasive disease case which has been hospitalized and the second is in a healthy blood donor. The positive blood units were discarded. Both are residents of the San Fernando Valley region.


“West Nile virus continues to be a serious health threat to residents in Los Angeles County. We encourage residents to cover, clean or get rid of items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes both inside and outside your home. This is important now more than ever as we spend a majority of our time at home,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “We are now in peak mosquito season in Los Angeles County and residents should also protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products.”

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.