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West Nile Virus Death


Last updated 10/5/2015 at 2pm

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The death of a 79-year-old woman was confirmed to be linked to the West Nile Virus on Wednesday. The woman, whose name was not released, became sick in August and died on Sept. 8. Tests by a state laboratory confirmed she was the first person in San Diego County to die from the illness. Two other persons have also been confirmed to be infected with WNV, bringing the number to five cases in the San Diego region, counting the elderly woman. Two persons died last year of WNV.

Eighty percent of people infected don't feel any symptoms, while the rest will have headaches, fever, nausea, fatigue, a skin rash or swollen glands. One in 150 cases are life-threatening, and chances become higher for people over 50, according to the Health & Human Services Agency.

This year, environmental health workers have found 227 dead birds and 31 batches of mosquitos that tested positive for WNV, a substantial increase from last year with 41 birds and six batches of mosquitoes testing positive.

The best protection against the disease is to Prevent, Protect, Report.

Prevent mosquitos from breeding by dumping all items that can hold water from inside or outside the house. This is where mosquitos breed. Mosquito fish are available for free by contacting the Environmental Health Vector Control Program.

Protect oneself from mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves, pants, and by using repellent when going outdoors. At dusk and dawn, when mosquitos are most active, people should stay indoors.

Report dead birds and green swimming pools to the Environmental Health Vector Control Program by calling (858) 694-2888 or emailing

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