MADERA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- Madera County is reporting the first human death from West Nile Virus (WNV) this year.
According to the Madera County Department of Public Health, the man who died was one of the first two cases identified in August. Both cases required hospitalization and the second, non-fatal case has improved and been discharged from the hospital. Following an investigation, these two were considered unrelated.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquito abatement control agency was notified at the time of the original diagnosis and spraying was planned in the areas where the positive tests were localized.
Officials say most people infected with WNV have no symptoms. About 25% of people with WNV may have a fever, headache, and other nonspecific symptoms. Fewer than 1% of infections develop severe disease or neuroinvasive disease, with symptoms of fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, and decreased alertness.
People over 50 years of age or with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of experiencing severe symptoms when infected. Currently, there is no vaccine for WNV.
For more prevention tips and information about WNV, visit the following websites:
- California Department of Public Health: https://westnile.ca.gov/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html
- Madera County Mosquito & Vector Control District: http://maderamosq.org/