(FOX40.COM) — Health officials in Placer County confirmed the first death related to West Nile virus since 2018.
Officials said the victim is a man over the age of 65 from Lincoln.
“We’re saddened to learn of this individual’s passing, and extend our sympathies to their loved ones,” said Dr. Rob Oldham, director of Health and Human Services. “While we are late in mosquito season, it is a sobering reminder about the importance of taking precautions.”
So far this season, officials have confirmed six human cases of West Nile virus in Placer County. The first case was reported at the end of August.
Officials say there have been a record number of virus-positive mosquitoes and dead bird samples.
People age 50 or over have a higher chance of getting sick or developing complications, but less than 1% of people can develop a serious neurological illness, health officials said.
“This season, we saw record numbers of West Nile virus in our mosquito and dead bird population which increases the risk for West Nile virus transmission to humans,” said Joel Buettner, general manager of the Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District. “This tragic death reminds us that West Nile virus can be a potentially life-threatening disease and we need to take precautions to limit our exposure to mosquito bites.”
Across the state, there have been 286 human cases confirmed and 10 deaths in connection with the virus, health officials said.