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California Registers First 2008 West Nile Fatality

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Sacramento, CA — Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, announced today that West Nile Virus has claimed the life of an elderly woman in Orange County.

Her death marks the first in California this year from complications associated with the virus.

To date in 2008 W.N.V. has been detected in 38 of California´s 58 counties and that includes the Mother Lode.

Tuolumne County Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp says that many who are bitten by an infected mosquito will not experience any illness. However for those over the age of 50 and for those with deficient immune systems, great caution should be taken. Recent data also is indicating that those with diabetes and/or hypertension are also at great risk of serious illness.

The most effective way to avoid mosquito bites is to stay indoors during the dawn and dusk hours. If you are outside make sure that exposed skin is severely limited by using additional clothing. In addition apply insect repellent containing DEET which can also be used safely on infants and children two months of age and older.

Make sure to eliminate any type of standing water for this is where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

Click West Nile for additional information.

Written by Bill Johnson