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Eleventh Human West Nile Virus Case Reported

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September 4, 2008

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reports one confirmed non-locally-acquired human case of West Nile virus (WNV).

A 70-year-old Carlsbad woman was diagnosed with encephalitis; she was hospitalized, has been discharged and is improving. The woman apparently contracted WNV while in the Los Angeles area. The public is urged to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves against WNV.

“One year ago today, we reported our first human case of WNV in 2007,” said Dean Sidelinger M.D., M.S. Ed., Deputy County Public Health Officer. “The disease has gotten an early start and we have many weeks of warm weather – and mosquito activity – ahead. We urge the public to take steps to protect against WNV.”

The year-to-date human case count is now 11, including this new case. In all of 2007, 15 people tested positive for locally-acquired WNV.

The public is urged to use insect repellent when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active; use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535; do not sleep outside, unprotected, while camping; wear long sleeves and pants; and ensure screens on windows and doors fit tightly and have no holes or other damage.

Most people infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms or become seriously ill. Nearly one in five who do fall ill may suffer from headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands. Approximately one in 150 people infected with WNV develop more serious neurological effects such as meningitis, encephalitis or myelitis. If you suspect you have WNV, contact your healthcare provider.

HHSA is working closely with the County Department of Environmental Health (DEH), which continues its WNV control activities to check for and eradicate possible sources of the virus in San Diego County. A total of 361 dead birds and eight sentinel chickens have tested positive for WNV this year, one horse has died and 13 positive mosquito batches have been identified.

For more information or to report dead birds or green pools, please call the County’s WNV information line toll free at (888) 551-INFO (4636) or visit the County’s web site at