First Human West Nile Virus Case Of Year

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A 21-year old Kern County woman has tested positive for the virus. She was not hospitalized and is recovering.  Vicki Kramer is with the Department of Health Services.  She says hotspots of virus activity in birds and mosquitoes will change by year and region.  Right now, it’s the Central Valley:

“We’re seeing pockets of West Nile Virus activity and I think that will continue to be the case because we’re so diverse ecologically in CA.”

Kramer says warmer regions tend to be at higher risk for the virus, which is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.   She says the state’s surveillance program is still asking people to report dead birds – and this year, dead squirrels, too.  Kramer says as a precaution, use insect repellent, and get rid of standing water around your home.  Last year statewide there were 278 cases of the virus reported in humans.  Seven people died.