Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Placer County records region's first human West Nile cases of the year - Sacramento Bee

The first human cases of West Nile virus in the Sacramento region this year have surfaced in Placer County, where one Roseville resident and two Lincoln residents have tested positive.

All three patients - two adults and a child - came down with meningitis earlier this month. They were hospitalized, tested positive in the hospital and are now recovering.

Symptoms of West Nile virus can include headaches, body aches, fever and stiff necks. Disease can set in after the bite of an infected mosquito. It takes about two weeks after the bite for West Nile virus to take hold.

The risk of serious illness to most people is low. However, some individuals - less than 1 percent - can develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.

People 50 years of age and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications. Recent data also indicate that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.

Dr. Richard Burton, the Health Officer and Director of Placer County Health and Human Services, said West Nile cases can be avoided if people take simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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