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Health Officials Confirm First 2 Human Cases Of West Nile Virus In Riverside County This Year

RIVERSIDE ( — The first two human cases of West Nile virus this year in Riverside County have now been confirmed.

The Riverside County Public Health Department reports that the patients include a 37-year-old man and 53-year-old woman.

Public health officials say the individuals live in western Riverside County and test results, along with clinical information, confirmed the illness.

West Nile is spread by infected mosquitoes, and according to public health officials, those susceptible to most serious illness include elderly individuals with compromised immune systems.

"While West Nile is rarely life-threatening, it can be occasionally serious," Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer, said. "Unlike the common cold which is easily transmitted, the West Nile virus can only be spread by mosquito bites, and there are easy steps to take to reduce your risk of getting bitten."

The department offered the following tips:

• Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk, and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and other protective clothing outside.

• Apply EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET.

• Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, such as old tires, buckets, flower pots and toys that can support mosquito breeding.

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