THURSDAY August 28, 2008
(foodconsumer.org) -- A Garden Grove, California man died this month
from West Nile infection, the second fatality in Orange County so far
this year, the Health Care Agency announced today.
The man, 64, who was not identified,
tested positive for West Nile virus, spokeswoman Deanne Thompson
said. It is unknown when, where and how he contracted the virus
although most cases are caused by a bite of an infected mosquito.
So far this year, Orange County has
recorded a total of 36 human cases of West Nile virus including two
deaths. The first person who died from the disease was a 72-year-old
woman in Buena Park.
County heath officials warned that the
risk of human infection in Southern California is the particularly
Nationwide, as of August 26 this year,
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received
reports of 342 cases of West Nile virus including two deaths from the
infection, one in Arizona, one in California and the third in
Mississippi. The real number can be much higher because the state
and local governments need some time to file reports to the agency.
"Of the 342 cases, 146 (43%) were
reported as West Nile meningitis or encephalitis (neuroinvasive
disease), 184 (54%) were reported as West Nile fever (milder
disease), and 12 (4%) were clinically unspecified at this time.
Please refer to state health department web sites for further details
regarding state case totals. " the CDC states.
The West Nile cases were reported
Alabama (3), Arizona (8), Arkansas (5), California (97), Colorado
(32), Connecticut (1), Idaho (8), Illinois (4), Indiana (1), Iowa
(4), Kansas (7), Louisiana (6), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota
(13), Mississippi (53), Missouri (4), Montana (1), Nebraska (2),
Nevada (7), New Mexico (1), New York (2), North Dakota (18), Ohio
(1), Oklahoma (6), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (22),
Tennessee (8), Texas (16), Utah (2), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (1)
and Wyoming (2).
West Nile virus is transmitted through
the bite of an infected mosquito that has picked up the virus by
feeding on an infected bird.
Most people with the virus show no
clinical symptoms of illness, but some may become ill three to 15
days after getting infected after a bite of an infected mosquito. An
estimated 20 percent of infected people experience any illness.
Symptoms of West Nile virus are usually
mild including fever, headache and body aches. In serious cases, the
illness can lead to encephalitis and meningitis or death.
Orange county gives the following
advice on how to prevent West Nile virus.
* Avoid Mosquito Bites
1. Apply insect repellent
containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-metatoluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon
eucalyptus, or IR3535 (3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid,
ethyl ester) to exposed skin whenever you go outdoors. Be sure to
follow the product directions for use.
2. Wear long-sleeves, long pants
and socks when outdoors, whenever possible. Spray thin clothes with
repellant to provide extra protection but do not spray repellants
containing permethrin directly on the skin and do not spray DEET
under the clothing.
3. Avoid outdoor activities from
dusk to dawn, which are peak mosquito biting times. If you must go
outdoors in the evening and early morning, be sure to use repellant
and protective clothing as described above.
* Mosquito-Proof Your Home
1. Drain standing water
(which serve as mosquito breeding sites) around your home. This
includes empty containers, flowerpots, bird baths, and pet dishes.
2. Install or repair
tight fitting screens on your windows and doors to keep the