The Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency’s Communicable Disease Program has received confirmation of a human case of West Nile virus in Yolo County. The patient first became ill last month and is now recovering.
“Although this patient is now recovering, it is important to note that there is a risk of contracting West Nile virus in Yolo County this time of year,” said Yolo County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Mary Ann Limbos. “West Nile virus is spread to people from the bite of mosquitoes. By making regular checks of their yards and draining standing water, residents can help cut down on mosquito breeding areas. Precautions such as wearing protective clothing and using insect repellents that contain DEET will also reduce the risk of mosquito bites. Even though the summer season is coming to an end, our weather continues to support an environment for mosquitoes.”
People typically develop symptoms of West Nile virus between 2 and 14 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito. While 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms, up to 20 percent of those infected will have symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days or several weeks, even for generally healthy people. So far in 2020, more than 55 people have contracted West Nile Virus in California.
About 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. Their symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent. People over the age of 50, and those who have diabetes or hypertension, are more likely to develop serious symptoms of West Nile virus and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites.
The best way to prevent West Nile virus infection and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent the bite of an infected mosquito. Following the 7 D’s decreases the risk of mosquito bites:
- DRAIN any standing water that may produce mosquitoes.
- DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outside. These are the times when mosquitoes are most active.
- DRESS appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors.
- DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes by using an effective insect repellent, such as DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition. This will prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- DISTRICT personnel are available to address any mosquito problem you may be experiencing by calling 1-800-429-1022.
The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District has been performing extensive control measures in and around Yolo County to reduce both larval and adult mosquitoes, and will continue to do so to minimize adult mosquitoes carrying the disease. For additional resources, visit the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District website at: www.fightthebite.net or call 1-800-429-1022. For the Yolo County Health Department’s website visit: www.yolohealth.org. For California’s data and statistics on West Nile Virus visit: http://westnile.ca.gov/.