RIVERSIDE, California – Both First West Nile virus infections in Riverside County the year was confirmed today by the Department of Public Health.
According to county officials, a 74-year-old Riverside woman and a 50-year-old Eastvale man were admitted to hospitals for treatment.
Both are expected to fully recover.
The Department of Public Health said that patients were tested earlier this week to verify they were infected with West Nile, although it was unclear when they began showing symptoms and authorities did not say when they were hospitalized. 19659006] According to the California Department of Public Health, Riverside County WNV cases are the first registered statewide so far in 2018. Last year, there were 553 cases, 44 of them fatal, according to data from the agency.  In Riverside County, 33 human infections were documented in 2017 and 10 in 2016. The last fatality related to the WNV was in 2015, according to health officials.
"Although West Nile virus is rarely life-threatening, it can be occasionally serious," said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. "Unlike the common cold, which is easily transmitted, West Nile virus can only be spread by mosquito bites, and there are easy steps to reduce the risk of being bitten."
Vector control officials recorded mosquito samples in the eastern and western areas of the county where the virus was present. The mosquito surveillance maps provided by the county showed a high degree of WNV activity recently at the northern end of the Salton Sea.
Maps are available here :
Mosquitoes often become carriers of West Nile virus after feeding on an infected bird and can then spread the potentially lethal strain to animals and humans. Those at greatest risk are the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Symptoms may never materialize, but may include fever, headache, nausea, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes.
The mosquito season in Southern California generally runs from May to October. To reduce exposure to WNV, residents are advised to:
: spend as little time as possible outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are in motion;
– wear pants and long-sleeved shirts during outdoor activity, especially in the early morning and at night; – use insect repellent;
– make sure that the door and window grilles are properly positioned to prevent insects from escaping; and
– remove stagnant water, apart from pools treated properly with chemicals.
Anyone concerned with WNV, mosquitoes, neglected pools or standing water may contact the Riverside County vector control office at (951) 766-9454. More information is also available here .
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