Orange County health officials announced Friday the first human case of West Nile virus in the county this year, but the patient has fully recovered.
According to the Orange County Health Care Agency, the 51-year-old man — a resident of Orange — began experiencing symptoms during the third week of July. Although he has recovered, health officials confirmed this week he had been infected with West Nile virus.
The man is the 19th human case of West Nile virus in the state this year, county health officials said.
In 2014, there were 280 reported human cases of West Nile virus in Orange County, and nine deaths related to the virus.
“West Nile virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall,” county health officer Dr. Eric G. Handler said. “The best way to avoid West Nile virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.”
One in five people infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms that usually appear five to 15 days after exposure and can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea or a skin rash, according to health officials.
One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms can include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death.
Residents are urged to eliminate mosquito breeding areas, such as water left standing for more than one week, such as in pools, fountains, flower pots, pet dishes or other places were it can collect, like clogged drain gutters, rain gutters, discarded tires or buckets.
—City News Service