San Joaquin County’s First Human West Nile Infection Reported

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Stockton Woman’s Death Traced back to West Nile VirusSTOCKTON —

The first human infection of the West Nile virus in San Joaquin County has been reported today.

According to San Joaquin County Public Health Services, the virus was found in a middle-aged person during screening tests for blood donation.

Last year, San Joaquin County reported its first case at the end of July—over a month later than this year.

“As we cautioned the public in March, this confirms that there is a real risk of transmission of WNV to people in our County,” said San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Alvaro Garza, who reported the infection.

According to Public Health Services, most people infected with the virus will not have any illness. About 20 percent will feel headaches, fever and fatigue. But, people in extreme cases can develop serious illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People over 50, as well as those with diabetes or hypertension are more at risk for the disease, according to Public Health Services.

West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted through a mosquito bite. To help prevent exposure, Public Health Services advises to apply repellant containing DEET, dress to cover up exposed skin, be extra secure around dawn and dusk and drain to prevent the buildup of standing water, used by mosquitos to lay eggs.

More information about the virus can be found at www.sjcphs.org and www.westnile.ca.gov

Ruben Dominguez filed this report.

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