“The West Nile virus settled into my spine C4 and 5. And after being unconscious for three weeks, I woke up paralyzed,” states a victim of the West Nile Virus. As drought continues to spread across the Western United States, public health officials are warning residents of the region about an unexpected side effect of the dry weather: a greater likelihood of contracting a virus namely the West Nile virus.
Officials from the California Department of Public Health have confirmed that a 65-year-old woman in Nevada County, California, had died from an infection with the mosquito-borne disease, the West Nile Virus. In 2014, only 29 California countries had reported the disease, according to CDPH. However, of the 58 countries that wrap the state of California, 33 amongst them have reported the spread of the West Nile Virus during this year.
More than 800 cases of the West Nile Virus were reported in California in the year of 2014 which horrifically caused a total of 33 deaths which is equal to twice as many cases reported in 2013.
“The best prevention is to prevent mosquito bites,” states Jamesina Scott, manager and research director for the Lake County Vector Control District.
Mosquitoes have been infected with West Nile virus have been detected in Sonoma and Lake counties, according to recent reports.
In Sonoma, infected mosquitoes were trapped in May, that was the earliest they had been found since 2008.
About 80% of people who have already become infected have no symptoms while about 1% of them will have severe symptoms, which can include permanent neurological effects and thus lead to severe consequences. People over the age of 50 are most likely to develop serious symptoms, health officials say.
The Mendocino County Health officials reported the county’s first human case of West Nile virus this year, carving warnings to people about mosquito bites.
State health officials have also reported California’s first death from the virus. The victim was a citizen from Nevada.
Earlier in this month of July, two more deaths have been reported from West Nile virus infections in Maricopa County, Arizona another area that is also experiencing severe drought conditions and is threatened by the West Nile Virus.