First human West Nile Virus death confirmed in Kings County, officials say

Local News
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KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Kings County public health officials have confirmed the first West Nile virus-related death of 2021 within the county on Friday afternoon.

“Though we are late in the season for mosquitos, this is a stark reminder of how important it is to eliminate the sources where mosquitos can propagate,” said assistant director of the Kings County Public Health Department, Heather Silva.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 35 total deaths due to West Nile Virus Disease in the United States, and five deaths in the state of California as of October 5.

Health officials say most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms or only mild non-specific flu-like symptoms but in some individuals, the disease can cause “severe neurological illness,” with symptoms that may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Disorentation
  • Altered level of consciousness

Kings County Public Health officials say anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.

The first indication of West Nile virus mosquito activity in Kings County was reported on July 12 and the first human case of West Nile virus in the county was reported on July 26, according to officials.

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