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California

First West Nile Virus Infection for 2019 Reported in Sutter County
July 31, 2019

A Sutter County resident has a laboratory-confirmed West Nile virus (WNV) infection; the resident had no symptoms. This is the first reported WNV infection in Sutter County for 2019.

West Nile virus is found throughout California and is spread by mosquito bites. Avoiding mosquito bites is the only effective way people can prevent getting West Nile virus.

Most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms. Approximately 1 in 5 people infected with WNV become sick with fever, headaches, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea and/or rash. Roughly 1 in 150 people infected with WNV develop severe inflammation of the brain or membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of this include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. Symptoms typically begin 3 to 14 days after someone was bitten by an infected mosquito.

Most people infected with West Nile usually recover completely, but some people may feel tired and sick for weeks. Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months. Some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent. People over 60 years of age or with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are at greater risk of more severe illness.

Take these simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Use EPA-approved mosquito repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
  • Avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes that carry WNV are most active.
  • Make sure that the screens on your doors and windows are not broken or torn.
  • Drain all standing water around the outside of your house.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants outdoors.

The Sutter-Yuba Mosquito and Vector Control District is actively controlling mosquitoes and monitoring local mosquito and mosquito-borne disease activity. They will continue until cold weather. For more information about the work that the Sutter County Mosquito and Vector Control District is doing to reduce numbers of mosquitoes, go to http://www.sutter-yubamvcd.org/.

Many types of birds can also be infected with West Nile by mosquitoes. WNV can kill birds, and dead birds are an important source of information about where WNV-infected mosquitoes are and where humans may be exposed. To report a dead bird, go to http://westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php or call toll-free 1-877-968-2473 (1-877-WNV-BIRD).

Find more information about West Nile at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/