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First Locally-Acquired Human West Nile Case Reported

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October 8, 2009

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reports the first confirmed human case of locally-acquired West Nile virus (WNV) this year. The individual, a 63-year-old Serra Mesa man, was hospitalized after developing encephalitis. The county has also had two cases of non-locally acquired WNV this year.

“It has been a fairly moderate season for WNV, but people should still be vigilant,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego County Public Health Officer. “It’s important for the public to protect against WNV by taking precautions including avoiding outdoor activity at dawn and dusk; and using insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.”

Other precautions include not sleeping outside, unprotected, while camping; wearing long sleeves and pants; removing any source of standing water from your property; and ensuring that windows and doors have tight fitting screens without holes or tears.

The County Department of Environmental Health (DEH), continues its WNV control activities to check for and eradicate possible sources of the virus in San Diego County. Vector Control officials report six more WNV-positive dead American crows found in Torrey Hills, Escondido, Paradise Hills, Pine Valley, San Marcos; and one positive batch of mosquitoes in Escondido. That brings this year’s totals to 33 dead birds, five mosquito batches, and four sentinel chickens.

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

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