By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– A middle aged resident of Victorville was hospitalized and has now recovered from West Nile Virus (WNV). This is the first human case of WNV in 2013 for the County of San Bernardino. As of August 6, 2013 a total of 99 human cases of WNV (including four fatalities) across 38 states and the District of Columbia have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The risk of serious illness to most healthy people is low. However, less than 1 percent of individuals can develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Complications are more likely to develop in people 50 years of age and older. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), recent data indicates that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.
The California Department of Public Health and the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health encourages the public to participate in the West Nile Virus surveillance program, by reporting dead birds or squirrels to the State West Nile Virus toll-free hotline at (877) WNV- BIRD, or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
The County of San Bernardino residents can protect themselves and their families from West Nile Virus by taking these precautions:
• Drain or Dump: Remove all sources of standing water around your property where mosquitos lay eggs such as birdbaths, green swimming pools, ponds, old tires, buckets, clogged gutters, or even puddles from leaky sprinklers.
• Dawn and Dusk: Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and evening. If you are outdoors during these times take precaution and wear proper clothing and repellent.
• Dress: Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeved shirts that are loose fitting and light colored.
• DEET: Apply insect repellent containing DEET according to manufacturer’s directions. Repellents keep the mosquitos from biting you.
• Doors: Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.