Local Man Contracts West Nile: HHSA

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    A 19-year-old Escondido man has contracted the first case of West Nile virus in San Diego County, according to the Health and Human Services Agency.

    This is the first local case since 2009, according to officials.

    The man reported no symptoms, but doctors detected the virus during a routine screening test of blood he donated in July. He told officials he did not recall any mosquito bites in the 30 days prior to donating blood and said he did not travel out of the country.

    HHSA and the County’s Department of Environmental Health Vector Control are inspecting the man’s home and surrounding areas for potential mosquito breeding locations and setting up traps.

    “Even though Vector Control has been actively monitoring and no mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile this year, this is an indication that the virus is here,” said Wilma Wooten, a public health officer. “It’s important for the public to know West Nile virus is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease.”

    California had its first death caused by West Nile virus last week, according to officials. Of those infect, 80 percent will have no symptoms. Most of those who do fall ill have a mild illness of headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, skin rash or swollen glands.

    One in 150 of those infected with the virus will have serious neurological complications that could become life-threatening, said HHSA. The risk of complications increases for those over age 50, and people with weakened immune systems.

    For more information on prevention methods, visit the county informational website.
     

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