For Immediate Release: September 22, 2015
Contact: Deanne Thompson
dthompson@ochca.com / 
714-834-2178
ORANGE COUNTY REPORTS  WEST NILE VIRUS RELATED FATALITY
West Nile Virus Activity throughout the County is Increasing
 

(Santa Ana) An 80 year-old Buena Park resident died last week with complications of West Nile virus (WNV) infection.  Test results received this week confirmed the diagnosis.  This is the first human death associated with WNV infection for this year’s season in Orange County.
 
““West Nile virus activity tends to peak in August and September in Orange County, but we continue to have cases occur throughout the fall,” said Dr. Eric G. Handler, County Health Officer. “Individuals can take precautionary measures to limit exposure to the West Nile virus.  It is important for people to remember that the end of summer does not mean the end of West Nile virus season.”
 
Orange County has had 26 symptomatic WNV infections reported this year.  18 had neuroinvasive disease and 8 had fever illness; 19 of the 26 were hospitalized.   Two asymptomatic blood donors have also tested positive for WNV infection through routine donation screening.  Because about 80% of people infected with WNV have no symptoms, and the majority of cases of West Nile Fever do not seek medical care and are not tested, the reported case counts greatly underestimate the number of infected people in our County.
 
County health officials point out that it is especially important to take precautions against mosquito bites during the peak West Nile virus season. Recommended WNV precautions include:

  • Emptying all standing water on your property to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed, including flower pots and pet bowls
  • Making sure your window and door screens are in good condition
  • Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535, always following label directions
  • Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Emptying all standing water on your property to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed, including flower pots and pet bowls
  • Making sure your window and door screens are in good condition
  • Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535, always following label directions
  • Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
 
Symptoms of West Nile fever include fever, headache, body aches and fatigue. Swollen lymph glands or a skin rash can also occur. Anyone who develops the more serious symptoms of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, such as severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, muscle weakness, or vision loss should seek medical care immediately. People over 50 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk of serious complications from West Nile virus infection.
Information on mosquito control is available on the Orange County Vector Control District’s website at www.ocvcd.org. Other websites with helpful information about West Nile Virus include:
 
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