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Orange County reports this year's first human case of West Nile virus

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Aug. 12 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Aug. 12 AM Edition) 02:27

A man who tested positive for West Nile virus infection is the first human case reported in Orange County this year, public health officials said Friday.

The patient was described only as an adult male, and the Orange County Health Care Agency gave no further information about the case or where the man may have contracted the virus. However, no one in Orange County has ever died of West Nile virus, and last year there were just three reported cases of human infection.

West Nile virus has already been detected throughout Los Angeles County. Three dead crows in North Hills tested positive for the virus, but LA County has not yet reported any human infections.

West Nile virus is spread most often by mosquitos, which can infect humans, birds, horses, and other mammals. Most people who become infected do not become sick, but about 20% will develop flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, fatigue, and sometimes a skin rash. More serious symptoms include neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness, and paralysis, but those cases are rare.

The best way to avoid West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites, so vector control district officials throughout Southern California are urging people to empty all standing water where mosquitos might breed, keep windows and door screens closed, limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active, and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

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