Child Diagnosed with West Nile Virus

A 12-year old Rancho Penasquitos girl is the latest person in the county to be diagnosed with West Nile fever.  The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency released the information Tuesday as part of a regular reporting process involving the virus.

The girl has not been hospitalized and is improving according to the agency.

In 2007, 15 people were infected over the course of the year. So far in 2008, there have been 31 human cases reported.

The County Department of Environmental Health Vector Control urges the public to take the following steps to protect themselves against WNV:

  • 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
  • Ensure screens on windows and doors fit tightly and have no holes or other damage
  • Check your property weekly for mosquito breeding sources
  • Report green pools to County Vector Control

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 health care provider. 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).

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