Watch CBS News

California Reports First 2021 Death From West Nile Virus

SACRAMENTO (AP/CBS13) — California is reporting the state's first death this year from the West Nile virus.

Public health officials say a resident of San Luis Obispo County died from complications of the mosquito-born virus, although they didn't provide any details.

The agency warns that hot weather is increasing the number of mosquitoes and therefore the risk of infecting humans. Most people infected with the virus don't have any symptoms but a small percentage can have serious neurological problems.

Mosquitos with West Nile virus have been reported in Northern California.

Last month, the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed the first positive mosquito sample in that county for the 2021 season near the Westpark neighborhood of Roseville. And, earlier in June, Yolo County reported a positive sample in Knights Landing.

"With the hot temperatures we had recently, West Nile virus activity is steadily increasing," Sacramento-yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District Manager Gary Goodman said in a press release on June 9.

"This year, activity has started earlier than in recent years. This is a cause for concern, especially as summer is around the corner and we are approaching the hottest months of the year when activity typically intensifies.  We urge residents continue taking proper precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes," Goodman added.

State figures show there have been more than 300 deaths from the West Nile virus in California since 2003. There were 11 deaths last year, according to the California Department of Public Health.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.