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First Human Cases of West Nile Virus in Solano County

by ECT

SOLANO COUNTY – Solano Public Health received confirmation of cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) infections this week from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

“We received confirmation of West Nile Virus infection in three people this week,” said Dr. Michael Stacey, MD, MPH, Deputy Health Officer for the County.  “The infections occurred in both children and adults in the cities of Rio Vista, Dixon, and Vacaville.  At this time, we are unsure if these people were infected within Solano County or while traveling outside the county.  What we do know is that WNV infects people of all ages and the virus is found all across Solano County.”

This year, WNV activity started when the virus was detected in a bird in Fairfield in April.  Since then, WNV activity has been detected in other areas of the County.

“We have seen WNV activity in mosquitoes, birds and chickens here in Solano this year,” said Richard Snyder, Solano County Mosquito Abatement District Manager. “Sixteen mosquito samples collected from Davis, Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield and Suisun City and 13 birds from Winters, Davis, Vacaville, Elmira, Fairfield and Vallejo have tested positive for West Nile Virus this year.  In addition, the virus has also been detected in three sentinel chicken flocks in the County.”

As of September 30, 2016, CDPH reports that there have been 276 human cases of WNV from 28 counties in California.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.

Anyone can be infected with WNV, but people who are 60 years old and over and those with certain medical conditions, like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and people who have received organ transplants, are at greater risk of developing severe illness and complications.

Most people (about 4 in 5) infected with the virus will not develop any symptoms.  About 1 in 5 will develop mild symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph glands.  However, less than 1 percent (about 1 in 150) of persons with WNV infections will develop severe neurological disease.  In very rare occasions, WNV can be fatal.

To avoid getting diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, like West Nile Virus, county officials recommend the following:

Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and evening.  Residents should avoid being outside at these times.  If you are outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirt and long pants and use insect repellent.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water.  Residents should eliminate all sources of standing water on their property and drain empty flower pots, buckets, barrels, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.  If you have an ornamental pond, contact the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District (707) 437-1116 for a free mosquito fish.

Insect repellents keep mosquitoes from biting.  Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535 and para-menthane-diol products according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Residents should ensure that their doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out.  Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.

“We work hard to control the mosquito populations throughout the County and use all the tools that we have; however, I would like to emphasize the availability of effective mosquito repellents and encourage residents to use them regularly,” added Snyder.  “I also urge residents to help with prevention and control efforts by making sure that they don’t have any standing water on their property and to report any unmaintained swimming pools and stagnant water by calling us at 707-437-1116.”

Residents are encouraged to report dead birds and squirrels online at www.WestNile.Ca.Gov or by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473).  Additional information about WNV can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website at www.CDC.Gov.

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