A Confirmed Case of West Nile Virus
For release August 11, 2005 1 p.m.
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Contra Costa Health officials announced today the first confirmed case of human West Nile Virus in a middle-aged woman from East Contra Costa. The woman spends time in both in Contra Costa and Stanislaus Counties. The virus has been identified in mosquitoes in both counties. The woman is currently hospitalized in San Joaquin County. West Nile Virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person.
"West Nile Virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will not develop symptoms and will not need to seek care. However persons experiencing severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis should see their health care provider right away," said Wendel Brunner, MD, the County's Public Health Director.
Brunner said there is no human vaccine that can prevent WNV but there are steps people can take to protect themselves.
"We are calling on the community to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by dumping and draining all water holding containers, and to use insect repellent with DEET when outdoors 30% or less for adults and children over 2 months of age," said Brunner. The County has also sent information to hundreds of local health providers to alert them to the symptoms of West Nile.
According to him, the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District is spraying in selected locations to control mosquitoes. They are also testing mosquitoes for the West Nile virus and several locations in East County have tested positive in the past month.
Although this is Contra Costa's first human case, there are more than 118 confirmed human cases throughout the state.
Brunner said the public can get vital West Nile Virus information from the Department's Health Emergency Information Line, 1-888-959-9911 or its website at cchealth.org. "Our Health Emergency Information Line has general information about West Nile Virus, including information about prevention, symptoms, and testing."
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- Wendel Brunner, MD