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First West Nile Virus Case In Coachella This Season


Last updated 8/27/2015 at 3:48pm

A 70-year-old man from Thermal is in stable condition after testing positive for West Nile virus. This is the first case in the Coachella Valley this season. Two other cases have been reported in Riverside County so far. The last fatality from West Nile in the county was in 2008. According to Riverside County Department of Health’s director for disease control, Barbara Cole, this year’s human-related cases are not out of the ordinary. The illness can’t be treated with antibiotics so physicians usually treat a patient’s specific symptoms which include headache, fever and body aches that may lead to hospitalization. West Nile virus is transferred between birds and humans by mosquitoes. Unusually warm temperatures in the spring and winter result in more mosquitoes earlier in the season and the Drought increases the threat of West Nile across California because birds and mosquitoes are sharing limited water sources and coming into more frequent contact. To be safe, Coachella Valley residents are encouraged to remove standing water from around their homes, install or repair screens, avoid activity outdoors during dusk and dawn and wear long sleeves, long pants and socks outdoors, and apply insect repellent that includes DEET, eucalyptus oil, lemon, picaridin or IR3535.


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