Two West Nile cases reported in Los Angeles
Two cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the county of Los Angeles. Public health officials say that these are the first two cases this year. West Nile is transmitted to human beings through mosquito bites.
“We are glad to hear that these two people are recovering from their West Nile fever infections and wish them well. Every year in Los Angeles County, we see cases of West Nile virus infection, which can be serious, even deadly, especially for people over 50 and those who have existing health problems,” L.A. County health officer Dr. Muntu Davis said in a statement. “Mosquito bites aren’t just annoying, they may make you sick.”
West Nile is pretty common in California every year; last year it killed 11 people and 44 in 2017. The health officials have requested the people in the area to use bug repellents, wear long sleeves and to clear the stagnant water in the compound which could become a breeding place to mosquitoes.
First, the West Nile case was reported in Uganda and wasn’t introduced to California until 2003. Since then about 7000 cases have been reported and 300 dead. The health officials have taken up the problem very seriously and have been testing mosquitoes and dead birds. According to the latest reports dead birds were found positive for West Nile.
This single-stranded RNA virus belongs to the Flaviviridae family, from the genus of Flavivirus which also contains the Zika virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever. Usually the hosts for this disease are birds and cycle remains within birds and mosquitoes. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention most of the cases does not have any symptoms and if there is it would be fever, headache, body aches, skin rashes, etc. and few could develop severe symptoms such as encephalitis or meningitis.