Southern Californians Are the State's First West Nile Virus Deaths in 2017

Arnold Nichols
September 2, 2017

California Department of Public Health confirmed a Los Angeles County resident was among the first three human deaths from West Nile virus.

The virus can be spread through bites from Culex species mosquitoes.

"Georgians can reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes and yards by getting rid of standing water", Chris Rustin, director of Environmental Health for the agency, said in a statement.

Labor Day is the last holiday of the summer, however mosquito activity and the risk of West Nile virus continue for all area residents.

West Nile virus is an illness that mostly exists in birds, but can be transmitted to mosquitoes that bite infected birds.

Many people with West Nile are asymptomatic, while others might experience fever, head and body aches and in the more serious cases neurological disease and death.


The elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease. Mosquitoes get the virus by feeding on infected birds.

Install or fix screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. State public health officials withheld demographic information, hospitals providing care or more precise regions where the infections occurred, citing patient privacy laws.

MDARD has reported eight horses that have tested positive for West Nile virus in Clinton, Jackson, Livingston, Missaukee, Mecosta, Midland, Ottawa and Wexford counties. "Taking precautions to avoid becoming infected with West Nile virus is important".

The Health Department says homeowners should eliminate mosquito breeding and harboring sites on their property. Owners are advised to vaccinate their horses annually.

People spending time outdoors are advised to wear mosquito repellant and treating their clothing with permethrin products to prevent bites. Two cases were reported in 2016, along with three cases of St. Louis Encephalitis.

District officials also encouraged residents to use mosquito repellents and wear long sleeves and trousers when outdoors between dusk and dawn.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER