The Stanislaus County Public Health Officer has reported the death of a 74-year-old man from West Nile virus.
Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Public Health Officer for Stanislaus County, said in a press release that this serves as a warning that "West Nile Virus [WNV] is a serious disease that may lead to hospitalization and can even result in death.”
Vaishampayan also cautioned that older adults and those with weak immune systems have the highest risk of serious WNV infection or the neuroinvasive symptoms of the disease such as meningitis, encephalitis, and paralysis.
For Stanislaus County, WNV season extends into October. To date, there have been five reported cases of neuroinvasive WNV, seven cases of West Nile fever, and three asymptomatic infections in blood donors. An additional 20 cases remain under investigation.
Reporting and testing of dead birds helps in locating areas needing treatment. To report a dead bird, call the West Nile virus dead bird and mosquito hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD, or submit a report online at www.westnile.ca.gov.