ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – A Roseville resident and two Lincoln residents have tested positive for the West Nile virus recently, becoming the first cases in Placer County this year to have a documented infection of the disease.
All three residents, two adults and one child, became ill with meningitis earlier this month, were hospitalized and tested positive for West Nile. They are now recovering.
“Because West Nile infections are preventable, these cases, and the positive mosquitoes and birds found this season in western areas of the county, remind us all that we must take some simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” Dr. Richard Burton, health officer and director of Placer County Health and Human Services, said in a press release announcing the positive cases.
West Nile virus is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. 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 and older have a higher chance of getting sick and are more likely to develop complications. Recent data also indicates that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are at greatest risk for serious illness.
The California Department of Public Health reported Tuesday that 44 people from 15 counties have tested positive for WNV so far this year. California’s West Nile virus website, westnile.ca.gov, has the latest information on West Nile virus activity in the state.