Officials Report First 2 Deaths From West Nile In California

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Officials announced Wednesday that a 74-year-old woman and another adult has died from West Nile Virus – the first fatal cases this year in California.

The woman, a Sacramento County resident, had been suffering from an underlying chronic disease and was being treated at a hospital, according to the California Department of Public Health. The other adult was said to be from Shasta County.

“This is a very sad outcome, one we had hoped to prevent. We are working to educate people about steps that can be taken to prevent contracting West Nile Virus,” said Olivia Kasirye, M.D., Health Officer for Sacramento County, in a release.

Officials say that there are seven other reported West Nile cases in Sacramento County as of Wednesday. The virus has been detected in 36 of California’s 58 counties.

California saw 15 deaths from West Nile Virus in 2013, among the 379 reported cases, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Those at greater risk of serious illness from West Nile are people over 50 years of age and those with compromised immune systems, officials note. Most (around 80%) or people who get infected with West Nile show no symptoms and may not even realize they were infected.

Areal spraying of areas in Yolo County, including Davis and Woodland, are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight.

For more information on possible mosquito spraying updates, reporting a dead bird, or how to control mosquitoes, visit http://fightthebite.net.

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