(FOX40.COM) — The first human cases of West Nile Virus in Stanislaus County this year have been detected in four people, according to the county’s Health Services Agency.
The agency said that each of the four individuals has developed a neurological illness known as “neuroinvasive West Nile Virus,” which is rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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“Less than 1% of infected persons develop neuroinvasive disease, which typically manifests as meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis,” the CDC said.
The government agency added that “the overall case-fatality ratio is approximately 10%” among patients with neuroinvasive West Nile Virus disease.
Stanislaus County Public Health Officer Dr. Thea Papasozomenos said, “Because there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for West Nile Virus, it is important for people to take steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites.”
“We urge residents to help control the mosquito population by dumping and draining any standing water around their homes and report neglected swimming pools, as these can serve as mosquito breeding sites,” Papasozomenos said.
Stanislaus County’s Public Health department also emphasizes practices for defending oneself from mosquitoes, such as dressing in clothes that cover the arms and legs or using an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains ingredients like DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.