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County: San Diego woman died of West Nile

Posted: 4:26 PM, Sep 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-30 23:26:15Z

San Diego County officials have confirmed the first death of the year related to West Nile virus. The 78-year-old woman, whose name has been withheld, got sick in August and died Sept. 8.

Her death was initially reported Sept. 11.  She'd been hospitalized last month with symptoms of encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can be caused by viral or bacterial infection. County health officials also announced two more human WNV cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections this year to five.

From San Diego County:

Two more San Diego County residents have been confirmed as positive for West Nile virus, bringing the total number of people confirmed as contracting the mosquito-driven disease this year to five. That figure includes one fatality previously reported as a suspected case, a 79-year-old San Diego woman who died Sept. 8.
 
County public health and environmental health officials urged people to remember to  protect themselves from mosquitoes and help prevent the pests from breeding by following the County’s “Prevent, Protect, Report” recommendations. 
 
As of Sept. 30, San Diego County West Nile Virus Watch reported:
  • Five state-confirmed human cases, including one death (compared to 11 cases and two deaths in 2014)
  • 227 dead infected birds recovered (compared to 41 in 2014)
  • 31 batches of infected mosquitoes collected (compared to 6 in 2014)
For a complete breakdown of this year’s statistics, go to San Diego County Department of Environmental Health’s West Nile Activity Web page.
 
Prevent, Protect, Report
 
Prevent Mosquito Breeding: Dump out or remove any item inside or outside of homes that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires, and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish, available for free by contacting the Environmental Health Vector Control Program, may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as unused swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.
 
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites: Protect yourself from West Nile virus by staying inside when most mosquitoes are most active, at dusk and dawn. Wear long sleeves and pants or use repellent when outdoors. Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good condition and secured to keep insects out.
 
Report Dead Birds and Green Swimming Pools: Report dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks and owls, and green swimming pools to the Environmental Health Vector Control Program by calling (858) 694-2888 or emailing   vector@sdcounty.ca.gov .
For more information about West Nile virus, go to San Diego County’s “ Fight the Bite ” website, and watch these West Nile virus public service videos .