First San Diego County West Nile Virus Case of 2016 Reported

A 51-year-old San Diego woman has contracted West Nile Virus, the first case reported in 2016, county health officials said. 

The El Cajon resident donated blood on July 27, which was when authorities found evidence of the active infection. This week, she developed a fever and headache and was diagnosed with West Nile fever. 

No other residents have been confirmed infected with the virus.

The County has counted 185 dead birds infected and 77 batches of infected mosquitoes infected with the virus, more than they have in recent years at this time. 

“The numbers of dead birds and positive mosquito batches positive for West Nile virus has increased from what was found last year, so it’s important for the public to know the facts about how to prevent mosquito breeding and protect against mosquito bites,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer, in a statement.

Last year was the deadliest year yet for the virus in San Diego: six people died as a result of contracting the virus and 44 human cases were reported. 

County officials urge people to prevent mosquito breeding by dumping still water outside the house. Mosquito fish, which are available for free from the Environmental Health Vector Control Program, can be used in backyard water sources to control mosquito breeding.

They also remind people to stay inside when mosquitoes are most active – from dusk until dawn – and to wear long sleeves and pants or use repellent. Residents should report dead birds or green swimming pools to the Environmental Health Vector Control Program.

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