First West Nile case in county reported
• Use DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus or IR3535. These are the EPA-approved mosquito repellents to prevent bites;
• Avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes are most active;
• Ensure screens on doors and windows are not broken or torn;
• Drain standing water around the outside of the house or gutters.
• Information: www.westnile.ca.gov .
A Colusa County resident is recovering from what local Public Health officials are calling the first probable case of the West Nile virus this year.
Although state testing has not confirmed the case, the county Health Department said the person “was diagnosed with the more severe form of West Nile virus that causes neurological illness.”
The county Health Department declined to indicate if the person was a man or woman, or to provide any other information such as age or even area of residence.
Only about 1 percent of those infected with the virus develop such neurologic illnesses, which can include encephalitis or meningitis, the state Department of Public Health reported.
Only about 20 percent of those infected will develop any symptoms, such as fever, headaches, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, and usually appear three to 14 days after being bit by the mosquito.
National and state health officials are reporting, however, that this is the worst year for West Nile cases since it was first discovered in 1999.
Health officials had hoped that the infection rate would peak in August, but that does not seem to be the case. In fact, nationally, the number of cases has gone up 25 percent from last week alone.
In California, 92 individuals, which does not include the Colusa County, have tested positive for West Nile virus, and four people have died.
Eleven horses in eight counties have tested positive for the virus, as well as 1,086 dead birds in 31 counties, according to state Public Health.