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OC Reports First Human Case Of West Nile Virus For 2021

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – The Orange County Health Care Agency Wednesday confirmed its first human case of the year of West Nile Virus.

The Buena Park woman who contracted the virus was hospitalized earlier this month with neuroinvasive disease, but survived and is now recovering, the O.C. Health Care Agency reports.

According to the OCHCA, so far there have been fewer WNV cases reported this year compared to 2020, when there were 19 human cases and one death caused by West Nile.

Meanwhile, last week Los Angeles County recorded its first WNV-related death of the year. No information was released on the person's age or gender. The victim lived in the eastern area of the county.

As of Sept. 3, there have been five human cases reported in L.A. County, three of which required hospitalization. L.A. Country recorded 93 cases in 2020, 79 of which required hospitalization and seven of which resulted in death.

The O.C. Mosquito and Vector Control District has been combatting mosquitoes this summer with drones and trucks spraying repellant. To have the agency come out and inspect a property, call 714-971-2421.

West Nile is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes get infected from birds and then pass it on to humans. Symptoms of WNV can include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headaches, but many people who are infected may not show any symptoms. In rare cases patients can develop more serious problems, such as brain inflammation or paralysis.

To prevent mosquitoes, people are advised to use screens on their windows and doors, eliminate standing water in clogged drains, change the water in pet dishes regularly and ensure swimming pools and ponds are properly maintained.

They can also put on insect repellant with the chemical DEET and wear long-sleeved shirts to percent mosquito bites. They can also use lemon eucalyptus oil to repel mosquitoes if they do not want to use DEET.

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